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Does Watching Television Cause Narcissism?

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Published on Nov 7, 2018

This video answers the question: Does watching television cause narcissism? Narcissism has been on the rise for many years and their concerns about what might be causing this trend. Television viewing in particular has been implicated as a possible cause of narcissism. Narcissism refers to a trait that's measured on a continuum. Narcissistic personality disorder is an official disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and can only be diagnosed by a licensed and qualified mental health clinician. Narcissistic personality disorder is usually conceptualized as an extreme level of grandiose narcissistic traits. The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include a grandiose sense of self-importance, exaggerated fantasies of success and power, believing oneself to be special or unique, requiring excessive admiration, having a sense of entitlement, exploiting people interpersonally, lacking empathy, having envy for other people in believing other people are envying them, and arrogance. The viewing of certain television genres has been linked with increased levels of narcissism. Specifically, reality TV, sports, suspense/thriller/horror, and political talk shows have the strongest positive association with narcissism. This means that watching these genres was associated with a higher level of narcissism. Only one genre, the news, had a negative relationship with narcissism. Other television genres don't appear to have any relationship to narcissism. This relationship between narcissism and television represents a correlation and not necessarily indicative of a causative relationship. It could very well be that individuals who have narcissism are attracted to certain genres of television, or some unknown variable could explain this relationship.
Lull, R. B., & Dickinson, T. M. (2018). Does television cultivate narcissism? Relationships between television exposure, preferences for specific genres, and subclinical narcissism. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 7(1), 47–60.

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