New study predicts bad economic results for ‘selfie-generation’

Taking a camera and turning it on yourself for a picture is a fairly new fad. Selfies have become so popular with teens and young adults that they’ve been dubbed the ‘selfie-generation,’ or maybe just millennials (and younger).

While taking personal photos of yourself seems harmless, a new study suggests that there are more consequences than what meets the eye.

Researchers from Appalachian State University conducted a study of 400 undergraduate college students and looked at how narcissism impacts their performance. The results weren’t particularly kind.

Students who are self-absorbed enjoyed the teachings of professors who are also self-absorbed and even earned good grades in those classes. But those who are less self-involved — those that aren’t narcissists — struggled when taught by professors steeped in ego.

It is, on the surface at least, an interesting look into how some millennials may perform in the workplace. The ones who operate by being overly self-involved are able to understand superiors, or in this case professors, who behave in the same manner.

This seems like a positive for the selfie-obsessed but the study also found that self-absorbed students had trouble working within a team environment.

It’s important to note that the research focused on business students and not other academic disciplines. As suggested by the study, business students who are draped in conceit may be more prone to commit white-collar crime and may lack empathy.

Perhaps most importantly, though, is that the study showed the narcissistic students had more trouble assessing risk, which impacts the economy and their potential for future earnings.

Ask any millennial about being self-absorbed or selfish and many will tell you that they have been improperly labeled. The availability of new technology, and the onset of helicopter parenting, has allowed them to develop a selfish complex.

The good news is that all millennials aren’t this way and this was simply a study of a personality trait. It’s easy to see how these results can be extrapolated to have more weight, though.

There are now more millennials than baby boomers, so our economy, and future, depend their success.

Hopefully this study isn’t a peek into the not so distant future.

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