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Revealed: When people became narcissists

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Revealed: When People Became Narcissists. A new study has recently revealed that society began shifting towards individualism more than a century ago.

Washington: A new study has recently revealed that society began shifting towards individualism more than a century ago.

In the first study of its kind covering a 150-year period, researchers looked at U.S. culture to determine how and why people there became more independent and less reliant on family ties, conformity and duty, a phenomenon called individualism.

Professor Igor Grossmann, of the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo and Professor Michael Varnum, of Arizona State University, found that the significant cultural change American society experienced started before the turn of the last century.

They tested six factors commonly thought to influence cultural change toward individualism: urbanization, secularism, socio-economic structure, climatic demands, infectious disease and disaster.

Then in the context of those factors, they examined the growth of eight indicators associated with cultural individualism, such as presence of individualist words in books, percentage of single-child families, percentage of adults living alone, and divorce rates. Since preference for uniqueness is also a key factor of individualism, so the researchers looked at the prevalence of unique baby names, those not in the top 20 for the time.

The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.

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