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    Narcissists Can Be Identified By Their Facebook Accounts - Psychologists
    By News Staff | September 22nd 2008 12:45 AM | 93 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Have a Facebook account? Laura Buffardi, doctoral student in psychology, and associate professor W. Keith Campbell from the University of Georgia says it may tell them you are a narcissist.


    Narcissism is not just attention-seeking or wanting to be liked. Clearly everyone who signs up for a social media site wants to interact with others. It is more severe and characterized by an inability to form healthy, long-term relationships.

    The tremendous growth of social networking sites (Facebook now has 100 million users, for example) has led psychologists to explore how personality traits are expressed online. Buffardi and Campbell chose Facebook because it's the most popular networking site among college students and because it has a fixed format that makes it easier for researchers to compare user pages.


    Not everyone who uses Facebook is a narcissist. "We found that people who are narcissistic use Facebook in a self-promoting way that can be identified by others," said Buffardi.

    They gave personality questionnaires to nearly 130 Facebook users, analyzed the content of the pages and had untrained strangers view the pages and rate their impression of the owner's narcissism.

    The researchers found that the number of Facebook friends and wallposts that individuals have on their profile pages correlates with narcissism. Buffardi said this is consistent with how narcissists behave in the real-world, with numerous yet shallow relationships. Narcissists are also more likely to choose glamorous, self-promoting pictures for their main profile photos, she said, while others are more likely to use snapshots.

    Untrained observers were able to detect the narcissists also. Observers used three characteristics – quantity of social interaction, attractiveness of the individual and the degree of self promotion in the main photo – to form an impression of the individual's personality. "People aren't perfect in their assessments," Buffardi said, "but our results show they're somewhat accurate in their judgments."

    Some researchers in the past have found that personal Web pages are more popular among narcissists, but Campbell said there's no evidence that Facebook users are more narcissistic than others.

    "Nearly all of our students use Facebook, and it seems to be a normal part of people's social interactions," Campbell said. "It just turns out that narcissists are using Facebook the same way they use their other relationships – for self promotion with an emphasis on quantity of over quality."

    Still, he points out that because narcissists tend to have more contacts on Facebook, any given Facebook user is likely to have an online friend population with a higher proportion of narcissists than in the real world. Right now it's too early to predict if or how the norms of online self-promotion will change, Campbell said, since the study of social networking sites is still in its infancy.

    "We've undergone a social change in the last four or five years and now almost every student manages their relationships through Facebook – something that few older people do," Campbell said. "It's a completely new social world that we're just beginning to understand."


    Their work appears in the October issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,.

    Comments

    This is disturbing.

    My facebook profile only has like 50 friends I think haha.

    But apparently that doesn't mean much.

    I think I know of some narcissists though.

    How about what Lewis Black said about blogging on his show Root of All Evil?

    “Blogging is like masturbating into a mirror while you videotape yourself so you can watch it later while masturbating.”

    Please see the link to my blog. ;) Ha!

    Hatice Cullingford
    Good morning. Well, I did. Understood. Now what?? Let's talk over coffee :) P.S. Thanks. You are generous.
    What if I have two Facebook accounts and friended myself?

    LOL

    I disagree with this article. Attention seeking is not the same as narcissism. I know someone on facebook who has narcissistic tendencies but is rather modest in their attention seeking. i know other people who just want to parade their whole lives in front of you but are otherwise reasonably 'balanced'. Also all young people seem to compete with each other over how many friends they have, and will friend anyone just to get the numbers up. Social networking is indeed in its infancy and I think after some time trends will appear to be more obvious but at the moment we're all still finding our feet with it.

    I agree with your disagreement. :) I guess some people are just more outgoing than the others, that's why they have more friends. Of course there are narcissistic people in FB...which is very obvious by their posted pics. Anyway FB is a nice and effective way to get in touch with true friends, family and loved ones.

    I'm sorry to say this but I have to disagree. Facebook and other social media has turned out to be a rather popular (not self-promotion) but a promotional media. I think companies and small setups can make full use of social media to gain unlimited exposure to their own services/products or just SELF. :-) But that's hardly narcissism. To use Facebook activity to identify narcissism is too narrow...just my opinion, of coz. Not any form of self promotion here.

    p.s. referring to above commenter...you can link to my website too if you want.

    The social networking phenomenon is providing fertile ground for psychological enquiry and it will be interesting to see how it develops. It's becoming a form of online participant observation, as a case in point, there's a facebook group called the psychology of facebook run by academics at Stanford University. Also, I expect to see a sharp increase in the number of my psychology students conducting social networking related research for their final year dissertation/thesis.

    This article is a perfect example of pop psychology abuse of the term "narcissism." This term has become a generic put-down for widespread social behaviors and in this usage has little in common with true clinical usage of the term.

    In real, instead of Dr. Phil, psychology, it is understood that every healthy, functional person has some degree of "healthy narcissism," which is a positive feeling about oneself and a desire to be positively evaluated by others. That's simply the human condition.

    In pathological narcissism of a degree warranting a psychiatric diagnosis, there is generally extreme disturbance in interpersonal relationships, and often a lack of reality testing that leads a person to have a completely inaccurate perception of his or her behavior and life.

    Having a Facebook account with a lot of friends does not make a person a "narcissist." It makes a person a social person with access to a computer.

    Hank
    Narcissism is not just attention-seeking or wanting to be liked. Clearly everyone who signs up for a social media site wants to interact with others. It is more severe and characterized by an inability to form healthy, long-term relationships.

    They researchers didn't say a lot of friends on facebook means you are a narcissist, it said narcissists have accounts on facebook and enough commonality they can be identified.

    And you're clearly a narcissist based on your need to have a smug-looking photo accompany your wisdom, you stud you. ;)

    Ok. I have a Facebook account and a My Space account. I am also on Better Networker, Bizlink and Linked In. I am a socialpreneur and I have made some pretty good friends through these social networks. When we move off to Skype, we can talk on the phone and strengthen those friendships. I've seen these internet people use tools to hunt down folks who have gone off line unexpectedly or to garner support for people in bereavement. Those are the sorts of people whom I am proud to call friends.

    Most of the people who go to facebook, these days, are there to conduct business. An internet narcissist might use a comment to promote their business opportunity. As a savvy social networker, I do not approve these sorts of comments. The pages that I have are for me and my business. I also select my social networking friends carefully to preserve my business image. If their profile picture is a logo, their request for friendship is denied.

    I have met people whom I have begun to refer to as internet narcissists. They've recognized my technical skills and seduced me into helping them with something, only to renege on the billing or make a decision to take a joint venture sole after consuming hours of my time setting things up. Contracts are a necessity for me now.

    In my personal life, I had an up-close and personal encounter with a real live Narcissist. We dated for three years. He pouted like a child when I succeeded at anything (because he had no successes) and severely criticized me when I needed emotional support. Our ending came when he chose the day of my mother's funeral to dump on me for needing emotional support and described my reaction to that as if I was a child who had to leave the theme park early. Friends had advised me that he was narcissistic but, until that day, it wasn't obvious. After the fact, as I sunk into deep depression, I realized that interacting with him had diminished me tremendously because years of involvement (in the name of love) with him had eroded my self-confidence. His game was to keep me off balance and uncertain and he was a master at it.

    I met him on match.com.

    I would invite this study to turn their sights to internet dating venues in your quest to evaluate narcissists. People there lie about their ages and marital status. They claim to be millionaires who have lost their wallets. With an endless smorgasboard of choices, they become serial daters (like my former lover), with no regard for human feelings. The data isn't as easy to see but the predators do exist.

    Here is a link to a site that outs dating predators: http://www.dontdatehimgirl.com

    No. I did not post a warning about my former friend there.

    One method that I have used, with good success, to suss out a narcissist is this: Do they straight-forwardly answer simple and direct questions or accuse you of being a detective for persisting in wanting answers? Here is the best one: Are the topics always about them?

    In this age of internet anonymity, it is easy to be seduced into superficial relationships. On the other hand, the internet can be a great resource that cannot be overlooked for any business, online or offline. Social networking and Web 2.0 techniques are a tremendous way to build your business leads. It is not just for young adults anymore.

    Andrea Kuszewski
    Marj, you are 100% correct. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a bona fide psychological condition, not a flippant way to describe, as Hank put it so eloquently, an attention whore.

    I was married to a Narcissist for 10 years and trust me, the "Facebook Diagnosis" is pure crap. Correlation, coincidence, similarity, these terms all apply.... but it is not a diagnostic tool. I hate it when people miss-use actual psychology as a "pop-trendy-pseudo-diagnostic tool".

    With that said, anything published in "Psychology Today" is suspect in my opinion as well. You will never catch me reading that garbage. It is NOT true psychology in the scientific sense. This is representative of the kind of alarmist-false-causation mumbo-jumbo they like to print.
    LauraHult
    With that said, anything published in "Psychology Today" is suspect in my opinion as well.
    I agree wholeheartedly. Does this make us BFF? j/k
    Are the topics always about them? Well your's certainly is. Thank God you're not blighted by the curse of self awareness. Is this usual with socialpreneurs?

    Ok. I am a very savvy bullshitpreneur. Like you I am brilliant and many people take advantage of my talents and skills. Can we be friends?

    "An internet narcissist might use a comment to promote their business opportunity. As a savvy social networker, I do not approve these sorts of comments. "

    And later in your comment...

    "Here is a link to a [my] site that outs dating predators: http://www.dontdatehimgirl.com"

    Socialpreneur you are indeed.

    i completely agree--this is complete garbage. Exactly how many friends makes you a narcissist? I have about 100...I better be careful and not accept anymore friend requests or else.. I know people who seem narcissistic that don't even have a facebook account. I know many individuals who I consider compassionate people who genuinely care about others and they have hundreds of friends on facebook. Some people are just more sociable than others. Sure, I can see how someone who is full of themselves would use facebook in the way you described, but that's just common sense to come to that conclusion. Its just not scientific..

    Hank
    Because narcissists can be identified by commonalities in their Facebook accounts does not mean you are a narcissist if you have Facebook or a lot of friends.  Narcissism is a clinical term - if you had it, you would not post under 'anonymous', for example.
    I think Mr Campbell's profile is glamorous, so is he narcissistic?
    without narcissism, I think Olympus and Canon will disappear in this planet!

    Stephanie - nice work. Thanks.

    Healthy people have healthy narcissism? Dur! I'd never have worked that one out.

    Very intelligently written, Stephanie H., particularly given that the article does not even bother to provide an operational definition, or ANY definition, of how they used the term in their study. Questionnaire results? WHICH questionnaire? What is the validity of the questionnaire?

    Additionally, the researchers apparently used correlation to compute their results. Um....correlation does not imply cause and effect. On a more humorous note, one of my graduate school statistics professors found that there was a strong correlation between arm length and choice of marriage partner. Does that mean that you can pick out who will marry whom, by measuring their arm lengths? Or that people who marry have similar arm lengths?

    As a doctoral level psychologist, I am flabbergasted that a correlational study would be given such weight. Makes me very, very proud of my doctoral program, where multiple regression and canonical correlation had to be used, at the very least, if one were going to examine relationships among variables, and try to then predict one from another.

    Admittedly, the results are very interesting. But the researchers need to spend time discussing the limits to the study's internal and external validity. Without that kind of discussion, one cannot take the article seriously.

    Finally, the repurcussions of using this sort of article to "prove" that someone is narcissistic could be extremely detrimental to someone's career. Recently, on a professional list serve, someone used the study's results to discuss "deal breakers" regarding how people decide to hire employees. People who have active Facebook accounts were considered, in the list serve posting, to be poor employee candidates.

    As psychologists, we have an ethical responsibility to protect the public. Therefore, given the limitations of this study and therefore the questionable nature of it's conclusions, I would caution anyone reading it to interpret it with extreme caution.

    I recently went out with a guy. I Work with him and I've known him for 2 years that's how I
    developed a crush on him after getting to know him through joking with him and working with him for 2 years. And I Finally got the courage and told him I liked him one day when we were talking on facebook. He told me he liked me and we started going out. Right when we started going out he would send me messages on facebook and when we would talk on the phone he would tell me he wanted to make sweet love to me. I knew this was wrong. He ended up taking advantage of me 2 days. The second day more SERIOUSLY, then the next day he BROKE UP WITH ME!! I THINK AFTER I READ YOUR ARTICLE ABOUT THE FACEBOOK NARCISSIST TEST I THINK HE COULD BE A NARCISSIST.???? HOW DO I FIND OUT? I DON'T WANT HIM DOING THIS TO ANYONE ELSE? PLEASE KEEP MY NAME ANONYMOUS!!

    sorry, but if you wanted your name to be anonymous, you probably shouldn't have typed it into the name box. :P

    Maybe he was a narcissist, but maybe you JUST GOT ON HIS NERVES.

    Good day!
    It is very informative and has a very good quality in it.
    I like it...

    Thank you very much for your time.

    You're welcome.

    For a science blog I'd hardly call this "scientific"... More like poorly thought out and biased social research.

    That's the thought that came to my mind. Interesting, though.

    Jen Palmares Meadows
    I posted a link of this article on my facebook wall, and definitely think that I can identify some narcissists--I think really it just confirmed my suspicions though.
    Aleida
    I suppose it would be easy to tell a narcissist from a non-narcissist: Someone with 547 pictures on his or her profile, all of him or herself, is clearly in love with thyself. (My horse happens to have a facebook account, he has a few friends, mostly lonely fillies). Anyway, I always wondered why one would need to keep in touch with aquaintences, coworkers,ex-lovers, your mechanic, or people you saw at a parade. Who cares? Nobody. Go home and get a life.
    Hank
    Well, attention whore is not the same thing as clinical narcissism.  Clearly people are in social media because they want to interact and be involved with people - some moreso than others.    Facebook users aren't all narcissists, it's rather that narcissists all behave in an identifiable way on Facebook.

    I think your horse is more on the attention-whore part of the spectrum than the narcissism one.   Fillies need dates too.
    I so agree! The only reason I am on facebook is to see photos of my new nephews & neices who are overseas. Beyond that, I don't interact at all. The narcissism displayed by some people cracks me up! Obvious pictures and postings to try and impress others and self-promote (socially, that is - I don't really care about those trying to push a business or a brand). The bottom line is that nobody gives a toss what you had for breakfast, how hot the weather is, how much you love sticky date pudding, or how many reps you did at the gym. You just sound like a dick. Get a life...

    I once went out with a horse like that. He dumped me when I ran out of carrots. Now I think he was a narcissist. He was always very rein...sorry vain.

    Stellare
    Facebook is very much a social arena for kids/youth. This young generation is simply using the technical tools provided to them developing it according to their needs and interests. Calling all that narcissism is wrong, I'm sure.

    Making a living using social media and any kind of media is another angle to this question. Being famous is actually a profession in itself these days. Then it is not necessary narcissism, but a business idea! :-)

    I agree with Stephanie who says:
    Having a Facebook account with a lot of friends does not make a person
    a "narcissist." It makes a person a social person with access to a
    computer.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Sorry, what was the name of your book again? I missed it the first time.

    This is an interesting article, my husband and I recently joined facebook. We then found all the teens in our family, some in college, some out of college and in differenct states, we found our in-laws and out-laws and now are trying to get more family in on this wonderful new way to stay in touch with each other and the kids, and what a great way to share family photos and have some fun with each other. We love it. There are a couple of narcissists in therewith tons of pics one of which is my Daughter, but hey I love to see her face. It' a great new way to communicate, but now with all the old folks on it, maybe the fun will go out of it and they'll all go over to that space thingy. I would like to see an article about Second Life, now there's an interesting personality assessment I'd like to learn more about.

    I'm sorry to say, but I think these studies are a little off kilter. I don't think they go about it the right way.

    When they go into this they're saying either you ARE or AREN'T a narcissist. There are many other reasons out there to use facebook rather than to get or to not get people. For example myself. I have upward of 200 "friends" on facebook and I interact with between 20-30 of them every week. Its not because I'm looking for fame or fortune but because I have a large base of friends I have made from the extensive traveling I have done within my XX years of life. Facebook is just another media app like mail or aim that allows one person to interact with multiple people (at one time) without having to talk to them face to face. Doesn't mean that everyone with large friend bases who keeps in good contact with them are narcissists.

    I guess to put it simple I don't think these "tests" take in enough data and have enough outcomes to really be reliable. These people set out to prove one of two outcomes and limiting these outcomes limits your data. Either the writer left out details, spun the story, or the people conducting these tests are limiting their data. Your choice.

    -Should be "who doesn't keep in good contact with them are narcissists."
    - Also I realized they haven't mentioned anything about personal messages, just wall posts.

    You don't like what the "test" suggests so the test must have been done wrong (even though you have no idea of how it was carried out.) Now that's what I call un-narcissistic thinking.

    aaanouel
    Well, every quality of us is revealed in what we publish and the way we do it. Its obvious, you only have to have some smell sense to discover what people are and what they want to project from themselves. We all do.
    That's is absolute bullshit.

    I'm psychology student myself and I know how 'stuck up' and 'snobbish' some people working in this field can be, trying to 'prove' their own prejudices are right...

    I've got 7 Facebook friends, I'm related to 5 of them. I don't have any pictures at all on my page but i'm thinking about putting some wildlife pics on it.

    Hank
    There seems to be confusion among the commenters about what clinical narcissism means - no one says all 150 million Facebook subscribers are narcissists, they are saying that actual clinical narcissists can be identified.    That is not the usual attention whoring or wanting to be popular or having a place to put pics for family and friends.
    As far as I am concern anyone who thinks highly of themselves are narcissists and anyone whose ever had social networking sites open to public view are one too. And anyone in denial about these traits are tell tale signs of someone suffering from such mental illness.

    Larry Arnold
    Of course it depends upon the definition of narcissist, and not having read the full paper, I cannot say whether this is a particular cultural /colloquial definition or an accepted medical/scientific one.

    The nature of personality in itself being somewhat of a set of constructs of dubious ecological validity.

    You can suppose what you like from my usual internet Moniker, but being as I come from a background of media studies (the one that all "respectable" academics love to hate) and am an artist and a photographer who has worked in advertising you can suppose I know a thing or two about what information I want to get out and what semiotics I want to employ in that.

    That sounds to my folk psychological thinking as more indicative of a scheming rationalist machiavellian devoid of conscience than a narcissist to me, unless the two are synonymous nowadays.

    Well the problem is that the outer image does not always betray the inner mechanism, as indeed is the fault line of all behaviourist science.

    If I am famous for anything it is having a clinically diagnosed condition or two which includes an Autistic Spectrum "disorder" and an Anankastic personality (put that in your search engine and find it).  The Greeks have a lot to answer for, including Anarchism and Arthritis :)

    Given that as an academic (or indeed in almost any field of endeavour) one is prevailed upon to promote oneself, it being a strong societal prerogative to do so, else be seen as the perpetual victim and recipient of state intervention, it comes as very rich from these researchers to harvest the easy pickings of Facebook, and dress it up as scientific research.

    I am careful who I allow as my "friends" on Facebook, I have a criterion that I must at least know them and have had real exchanges (whether by correspondence or in person) before I admit them. At the inner core are the people who know me everyday and see the face beneath the clowns makeup. I am bang to rights dead common so who would not swap his one horse town for an internet kingdom eh?
    Ecological?
    Are you famous then?

    Hi, I'm Visa. I'm a narcissist, and I'm damn proud of it.

    The article claims that narcissism is "more severe (than attention-seeking) and characterized by an inability to form healthy, long-term relationships"? Doesn't that come across as a rather myopic perspective?

    1) Narcissism and an inability to form long-term relationships may seem co-related, but I don't believe that we can conclude that one causes the other. We are more aware of narcissistic people's failures because they lead such public lives. There are people who live with low self-worth who are equally terrible if not worse at committing to a relationship, but we don't see or hear about it as much. You can imagine how misconceptions can arise from this.

    2) Just because a person excercises "self-promotion" or likes to meet lots of people doesn't mean that their relationships must be shallow. There isn't a direct inverse relationship between quality and quantity. It is possible for one person to have 5 very close friends and 20 acquaintances, and be labeled a narcissist, and for another person to have only two friends who don't really care much about him at all.

    Relationships take time and effort to sustain, and what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. It is childish to try and quantify the quality and quantity of your relationships on a linear scale, and to imply that you can only have one or the other. Because it is possible to have both as well, or neither.

    3) Narcissism itself is not inherently a positive or negative trait. Some of the most successful leaders in the modern world are narcissists. Barack Obama is obviously a narcissist! We should cherish our productive narcissists because it takes a narcissist to challenge status quo and change the world.

    You say you're a narcissist and then immediately try to distort the definition of the word. Why not accept the clinical understanding of narcissism and say that you're not one. Its a lot quicker, in fact you wouldn't have needed to post at all.

    Since I have close relatives and friends in several countries worldwide, Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with them, to share pictures, to share whereabouts, news, daily life, etc. without always having to email to each person in particular. In my opinion Facebook is just like television or anything else: its value depends on how you use it.

    So, uh...you were able to show that narcissists' Facebook accounts "somewhat" reflect their real personalities? And you were actually able to do this by monitoring ONLY 130 Facebook accounts out of 100 million +?? Wow!! And narcissists are more likely to have "glamorous" pictures? Stunning!!
    This research bothers me. On one hand, the results seem obvious - an individual's personality is going to be reflected on his or her Facebook page...duh. But you are lumping in all sorts of other individuals into your narcissist theory and it is wrong to do so without much much MUCH more research. Also, where is your data research on the 130 individuals?
    Was there ever any question that a person's real life personality is going to be reflected on their Facebook account? You could have saved yourself a lot of time and just asked me.

    Sorry, are you talking to me? Only I never said any of that.

    with so many people owning a facebook account, who in the world in their right mind would publicly admit that they are Narcissistic sickos? if you read into narcissistic personality disorder, they believe that they are always good and right. they can do no wrong. this article is going to get a lot of heat

    facebook is good to find lost friends and relatives but being on facebook every time and every day clearly gives an indication that the user is need of affection.

    letting people make conclusions based on evidence they dont understand is always dangerous.
    the author is most likely over 45 and may never have used facebook himself. If he were someone of my college age and understood facebook better and how people my age use it, he would never have written this.

    Many people my age have well over 400 friends. Why? because every single person you meet these days adds you. And only douchebags dont accept friend requests. So if youve had a facebook for 5 years, and everyone in your high school, college and everyone from all activites has added you, are you more likely to be a narcisist for accepting them all? no.

    I believe this article is misleading and is speculating that all face book users are narcissistic

    I enjoy facebook because I have been able to be incontact with many people that I don't have the time to see all the time. I have many friends and limit my friendship list to only friends not people I hardly know. I genuinely have 334 people on their at the moment and if I wanted to add every person I bump into I'd be up to probably 800 by now.

    My status updates are to keep people updated as to what i'm doing or what my thoughts are and I love my friendships. I also get to know what people are doing and recently this year was able to find out that a friend past away, without facebook I may not I've known in time to go to their funeral.

    So most people I would say use it for the wrong reasons but not all.

    This needs to be re-written

    No it isn't.
    The only thing that makes sense in your post is the last line

    I do agree with the article, to a degree. Having a facebook account however doesn't equate to being a narcissist. There are certainly two sides to this argument.
    In my opinion an online presence is a social construction- everyone is creating a representation of themselves. However there are users who can be excessively creativeand whose use of social networking is aimed at seeking personal attention rather than social interaction.

    There seems to be an awful lot of defensive behaviour in response to this study. Firstly narcissism itself is not a disorder, we all need a certain amount of narcissism to survive, It only becomes a disorder when it is taken to an extreme and can only be diagnosed by a qualified mental health expert. Probably only a tiny proportion of people who COULD qualify as suffering from the disorder are ever actually diagnosed because ironically one of the symptoms of the disorder is a refusal or inability to consider that one may have a problem (therefore no visit to the shrink.) It would seem logical that the more narcissistic one is the more one is reluctant to consider that possibilty and conversely the more one may be prepared for the possibilty that one may be narcissistic the less likely it is that it is at a level that is problematic. Coupled with the lack of insight that accompanies excessive narcissism (and all other personality disorders) it is extremely unlikely that the majority of people who COULD be classed as disordered are ever actually diagnosed.
    Narcissism, not in intrapersonal relationships, is all about the need to present and consciously believe in an image of perfection, superiority, grandiosity and entitlement. This means narcissists are not braggarts or show offs as any but the most simple-minded will recognise this behaviour as dislikeable and therefore not perfect, for example Muhammed Ali was a show off but not a narcissist. Narcissists are also simply incapable of true intimacy at any meaningful level and compensate for this unconscious feeling of isolation and inferiority by forming ideally lots of superficial,shallow friendships which are not true relationships as most of us view them. Also teenagers will not be diagnosed as suffering with the disorder because of the simple fact that most of them are narcissistic-the expectation being that they will mature into healthy, functioning adults.
    What the study actually implies is that narcissists are drawn towards having facebook accounts (which is obvious given the nature of the condition) and that there are certain pointers on their profile pages which can be identified as narcissistic even by people who are not experts in the field. One of these pointers is having a large number of "friends" way beyond the actual number that it is possible to have any meaningful relationship with.
    Dealing with a pathological narcissist is a bizarre experience and most people who are not too inextricably involved, say by marriage or family, soon begin to feel uncomfortable and that something is "not quite right" and are eventually repelled, in particular by the rigid ego defences that are invariably employed, hence the shallow meaningless chat that seems prevalent on facebook is ideal for the narcissist, there is rarely any actual content, rarely any actual intimacy or openness, and rarely any true two way conversations, hence little chance of the rejection that the narcissist (to an extreme) fears
    As for my own opinion of facebook, and I do have an account myself, is that it consists of a variety of people that I personally put into various categories;-
    1) people who want to keep in touch with close family and friends whom they may be seperated from
    2) people who are curious as to what the fuss is all about
    3) people who are consciously lonely or feel left out and yearn to belong and be included
    4) people who want to believe and usually unconsciously give the impression they are popular, involved and the centre of everything.
    5) (apparently) people who use the site for business
    So the caveat is, if you feel an intense reaction to what the study suggests, be open to the possibility that you may be a tad narcissistic yourself, if you don't you're OK.

    "There seems to be confusion among the commenters about what clinical narcissism means - no one says all 150 million Facebook subscribers are narcissists, they are saying that actual clinical narcissists can be identified. That is not the usual attention whoring or wanting to be popular or having a place to put pics for family and friends."

    Precisely. This confusion may be traced back to the inability of some to distinguish necessary from sufficient conditions:

    "A implies B" (Narcissistic person => exhibits some traits on facebook, Case 1)
    vs.
    "B implies A" (traits on facebook => narcissistic person, Case 2)

    I suppose that the researches claim to have some evidence for case 1.

    all these people are weird and going crazy about something that researchers have "infant-ly" concluded. The social networks are not fully developed; therefore, it is considered an infant. Facebook and other means of social network hasn't been around long enough for psycho-researchers to make (discover) a "positive" link in people being "liked' or obsessed "liking" themselves. I have a logo on my facebook account, I only share it with my close-friends, and I have been requested a lot to become friends with others, whom I do not know. The reason why I choose to use a logo as my profile picture on Facebook is to protect myself, my image, my life, my friends, my very existence. I do not want "weird people" like people here on this page, going crazy, as though they are making a 'good' or 'great' argument. Whichever way each of us (social-networker) choose to use our account(s), I feel, that we choose differently due to our own sense of reason(s) and confidence, power, and life. We are human, who will understand to the "fullest" who, what, how, and the very reason(s) why we are the way we are. Obviously, we live in a society with different values, that constitues our existence as human beings. Relax. We are people, even researchers themselves are missed-up in certian ways. No one has it all figured out. People are people, let them be people, we are progressing as the evolution of the human existence remains into the "lingering" future. We will all be dead one day. We have discovered how the Earth aged, died, lived, and what remains is our conscience, a tool used to measure our meaning of "being" human. Why distinguish it any different. Let's all make our time worthwhile, before we die, that we must acknowledge that there will be dust inthe future, and out thoughts are going to be forgotten and nothing will remain. Then, when everything turns into dust, it's starts all over again. Why "group" certain people and classify them any different. Humans are ment to be different, because we are different. and no one will stand to tell us any different in the future. It is our minds that we have different views. It's the mind that is playing games with us right now! Can anyone tell or differ any different. WOW!

    That article said absolutely nothing. Nothing worthwhile anyway. Why would anyone put an ugly picture of themselves on their profile. Snapshot or glamor shot, everyone wants to be seen in the best light...especially when it comes to the camera. My job is 100% global travel, facebook is a great networking tool and I have over 300 connections or "friends". Pop physchology needs to move away from branding and labeling people.

    The people defending themselves on here are the narcissists. :)

    What a complete load of crap. Perhaps these people are just bored, lonely, disabled, or they have lost their job, hence more posts. And what is wrong with choosing a nice picture of yourself as an avatar as opposed to some moppy looking photo taken with a crappy cell phone. Some people are addicted to the online games, and have a lot of game-friends to help them play the games.

    All in the name of good old psychology....sounds like plain, old-fashioned judging to me.

    funny

    I think of myself as a narcissist, yet my facebook account has 100 friends (all of whom I know)

    my profile picture rotates between my 2 cats, 2 dogs and garden photos

    and the majority of the wall posts are pushed there by my wordpress blog.

    I stopped playing games because they draw from your friends and force you to friend a lot of people to advance in the games

    plus, I stopped uploading images, since there's been many images sold to stock image firms

    I guess if I am concerned about privacy, maybe I can't be a narcissist

    but I'm too self absorbed to think about it overmuch

    I always wonder about people on Myspace who have like 20,000 friends. That seems excessive to me. It may just be those mediocre bands that try to get on everyone's friend-list, though.

    I like a flattering profile pic, myself. Not those "I'm a regular person on the toilet" grimace/smile pics.

    Also wonder about people who have 6-45 pages of virtually identical (and not flattering) webcam pics of themselves. I figure that's a scatter-shot plea for approval. Low self esteem. Mostly women seem to do that.

    If you are a musician on facebook, by this study you automatically qualify as a narcissist. This is because you probably have alot of FB friends that you don't know well. You want people to visit your page and listen to your music, and want to widen your exposure as a musician. So you invite lots of people, and especially you share friends with lots of other musicians online, Most of my FB friends are infact, other musicians doing the same kind of thing.

    So every single one of them is a narcissist according to this study.

    I also post up stuff that is not about me or my music, but stuff that reflects my views on current issues in the news or links to other stuff I think is relevant or noteworthy. The logic behind this is that it helps to connect with your music fans as a real person, not just as someone selling their band to you day in and day out.

    So how did the study account for accounts like mine, where you are a business person, or an artist, and the whole point of you FB page is to widen your exposure?

    Wow some ppl r are really jobless if u write such deeparticles bout social networkin sites. i mean come on facebooks jus for laughs. i think dis article i crap... bet quiber publishes better articles dat make more sense... and ppl who agree to be part of such experiments are usually d kind who r co operative in nature so i dont think 130 ppl r enough for accurate results.

    Can I propose a further study? Did anyone who regularly uses facebook ever go to school? Or for their benefit - deed n e 1 oo yoos facebuk go2 skul?

    I am the most narcissistic person in the world. Nobody is more narcissistic than I.

    Hank
    I am the most narcissistic person in the world. Nobody is more narcissistic than I.
    It's "me" because you're the object of the verb in that second sentence.  A real narcissist would know that because they compulsively have perfect grammar.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Hank, for a moment I thought you were saying that you were the most narcissistic person in the world, when you said 'It's me' and demonstrated that you also write using perfect grammar!
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Hank
    That was part of my subtle joke but I bet that guy wouldn't have caught it.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Ha ha, very funny.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Maybe the "I" was an unconscious slip, suggesting I as in ego. I have noticed this type of pheomenon before. I might write a book about it.

    Trying too hard to be cute. No, sir, you are wrong. The OP was correct with his/her use of "I." Here is how the second sentence should read:

    Nobody is more narcissistic than I am.

    And you sir comes off quite narcissistic. On top of that, your comments on this whole topic tell me that you aren't terribly bright.

    The research seems to be a bit under-done, but the comments are great ... but my observations over last two years, does bear out that narcissists (however loosely defined) tend to be more active on Facebook ... some are even fairly indiscriminate Facebook friend collectors ... I think somewhere down the line, as social market forces settle down ... to re-paradigm it ... those who use Facebook in the Copernicus way, will prevail over those who have a Ptolemaic approach to social networking

    Babuji
    Mumbai, India

    This is an interesting concept for a study, although this article does not say much about how it was constructed, the questionnaire, or how long it was conducted. I guess they would like us to read the original article in the journal but who wants to do that. I did not find Social Psychology all that alluring.

    It also states that if one has a nice photo of oneself instead of a regular snapshot one may be a narcissist. Is that something like "you may be a redneck if..."? I have a nice picture, taken with a small digital camera by a friend who is an avid amateur photographer. I may be a narcissist. However, I believe that most people want to look good in a picture.

    I resisted on-line social networks because I'm not prone to go with the crowd, waiting a long time before creating an account. Once I joined I found most of my extended family on FB. It's so nice to keep up when I get a chance because I have a huge family and calling on a regular basis would be both tiring and time consuming. For me, FB turned out to be a nice thing. I do not, however, have a huge circle of "friends" on FB. I also subscribe to pages that interest me so I get updates that I'm interested in learning.

    I notice that some people in my circle of friends, whether they be family or old friends and colleagues, have way too much time on their hands if they post BS on the smallest detail of their life. For example, my cousins are in New Orleans this weekend and they are posting pictures and updates of their time from their mobile phones. Okay, an update will do but give it a rest already. Tell me what happens at the football game tonight not the drinking and trawling you're doing on Bourbon St. Nobody really cares.

    I've also learned recently that prospective employers will check out your FB page to see what type of information you post. Be careful. If you have kids teach them well. Telling everything about oneself and posting unflattering pictures will not serve one's best interests in the future.

    I think a study on how employers research candidates for employment and the conclusions that are reached would be a better study. It will also serve a higher purpose.

    I think the author and her mentor are self-serving in this research study. Who cares? Did we really need money wasted on a study that proves nothing concrete or valuable? I wonder who funded this research.

    It's been fun reading all the opinions. Thanks. :-D

    My mother, my sister and one of my children suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. They are all sad. They don't understand why they can't keep friends. They are hopelessly unaware of the pain their behavior causes others. They feel deeply wounded by the slightest mention that they are less than perfect. Logic, tenderness and cautious compassion are met with rage and attacks. They cannot imagine why you can't see how wonderful they are.
    They've done nothing to deserve this disorder. It is genetic. I believe it came from our grandfather. Although I never knew him, the stories of his personality certainly match the behavior I see in his progeny. I can see the disorder in my family members' Face Book pages. I am so familiar with the signs that they would stand out to me in anyone's Face Book page. Like many of our tragic genetic defects, the symptoms that devastate are sadly all too clear for an educated person to miss.

    its amazing how many stupids are on the internetz

    plz leave my name anonymous so you deleted "anonymous" and wrote your name.. lolz

    OMG I LIKE TO PHOTOSHOP MY PICTURE (TO MAKE ME PRETTY) AND MAKE MY FRIENDS LIKE + COMMENT IT!

    I endorse this product and/or service.

    I disagree.... I've known someone for 6 years and later I found out he suffers and has been diagnosed as having NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and his facebook page was nothing like that described here. You can't tell anything about a person by their facebook page. A persons personality is too much detailed to be known from a single website page.

    I don't believe self promotion in itself is narcissism if you are promoting a product eg. you're a musician or artist or promoting your business or in fact have "real" friends and family who you share photos with etc.
    I think the true narcissist are those promoting them "self" but they don't actually do anything. They are in fact so fucking ordinary but they create this fake online existence and everyone buys into it because they are so fucking ordinary themselves and they follow like bleating sheep.
    It's like those mothers with over 500 "friends" who upload EVERY kid photo, tag everyone, update their status with some bloody motivational quote they've stolen (and they never write the author), update you on every pound of weight they've lost, every tiff with their boyfriend or best friend, backstab other facebook friends (without mentioning any names of course to keep everyone in constant "suspense" and anxiety). Just game players, sociopaths that need to be avoided because you never know when its you who they are bitching about and how much of your profile they are snooping about.

    I met a man online via a chat room five years ago, we became very close online and cyber dated now and then. Within the last 3 years we decided to remain "just friends" We have never met. I knew he had emotional problems from day one, I simply guessed it. He lives overseas so I never felt threatened that we might actually meet and he might harm me. I have a son with severe emotional problems and my personal experience allowed me to look past this mans illness and just be a friend.

    Almost a year ago he opens a Facebook account, then invites me into it and begs me to join his Facebook. He only had 45 friends, half of them ex co-workers and the other half people he knew from high school over ten years ago. He seeks out their attention almost every day always giving his opinion to their posts, although he was not a part of the conversation. It's almost as though he is trying to become part of their lives. He barely knows these people yet treats them like dearest and closest friends. They are always cordial and polite to him. I watch his conversations because of his illness. I am curious if anyone of his Facebook friends realizes he is mentally ill, or is it just that i know of his illness from lengthy conversations with him online.

    I truly feel he is a good man with a good heart, but he has a very troubled emotional past in which he was inflicted severe emotional and physical pain by his parents...or so he tells me. He is also extremely paranoid, which is why I think he only has 45 friends on facebook.

    As for myself...I only have one facebook friend, which is him. I am not necessarily anti-social, I am able to mix and mingle with a crowd and I can carry a good conversation. I simply don't like to talk allot, (which seems the opposite from this lengthy post) I'm just very quiet by nature, and this is due mostly because I spent allot of time alone as a child. (latch key kid of the 70's)

    I can definitely see a clinically narcissistic person using Facebook, but getting tons of friends isn't necessarily what a narcissist would do on Facebook. I think another study should be done of Facebook users that barely know the people they are friends with yet insist on speaking with them every day. And yes, I have seen him get upset or confused when someone does not make a reply to his facebook posts. I have also seen him get upset if they made a comment that didn't agree with him.

    As for Facebook users that have over 100 to 600 friends. That's just a status level type of thing, like driving a new sports car or having an overly expensive house. And of course most Facebook "friends" are really business acquaintances. I think some people just add everyone on their email contact list.

    Myself, I prefer Live Journal, or The Experience Project for blogging. Facebook is for people you know in real life. I prefer to get opinions from people all over the world that i have never met. The opinions and comments seem to be a little more insightful in comparison to people I know offline.

    Hmmmm. *only* 45 friends? I have 33.
    By your logic, the "normal" range is 46-99 ppl on your fb list.
    And I really wonder what you think happens beyond 600.

    'As for myself...I only have one facebook friend, which is him'.

    I'm not sure that you have really tested FB out properly yet with only one friend to interact with. Why not add a few more?

    Socialising on the internet to this extent has turned socalising in person, into peril everywhere.

    People just need to get out more !

    I agree with nipplefats above...and Jennifer

    i have about 260 fb friends - at least 100 of them are really friends of my 4 sisters or lived in same one school town i grew up in - in Zimbabwe, we do have a very strong connection as white zimbabweans who cannot live under mugabes rule - however the reason why i say yes to so many older people i cannot remember - is that i'm involved with a charity helping old age pensioners whoose funds have been taken by the zim government - & the remarkable thing is the more i advertise it the more the dispora give.....thats not narc?! - although i cringe at 'fat' pictures of myself & so glad i can't be tagged with my consent now.....is that narc? no i don't think so.

    The environment I live in is highly narcissistic. I had to find 500 friends to be friends with so they would continue speaking to or treating me like I was their "equal".... sometimes I really hate my life... Why do people like narcissists? They're so damn obvious to me... They're always comparing each other's number of friends... They all have 700- 3000 friends.... And if you aren't in with them or "on their page' they are complete assholes to you... Like they will ruin you... I hope one day I will be free of them. I can't not have a Facebook because I have REAL friends who live overseas. And I can't lie about not having a Facebook because I cannot lie... Freaking HATE narcissists and sociopathic types... They ruin everything.

    Oh god I'm a narcissist D:

    It's a silly article. We all want people to like us and we all want to be "cool". That is why facebook is so successful. Why else have a "wall"? Almost everyone derives pleasure from having some of their social interactions public, so they can imagine others reading them and feeling jealous or curious or interested. And yes, the primary reason why people post photos and videos is to show off. A better article would have been about how facebook creators understood the narcissism in us all and used said knowledge to great advantage. A true pathological narcissist is someone totally/almost totally devoid of empathy. They lie and are "conmen". Some narcissists murder, those who don't only abstain because they think it is not in their best interests.