Washington D.C. [USA], Dec. 2 : A new statistical review of 62 studies with over 13,000 individuals has found that narcissism has a modest but reliable positive relationship with a range of social media behaviors.
The article has been published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture journal. The largest effects were with the number of friends/followers narcissists had and frequency of status updates, followed by selfie postings, according to University of Georgia psychology researchers.
The two strains of narcissistic behavior-- grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism--showed different relationships to social media use.
"The stories you have heard about grandiose narcissism on social media are probably true," said senior study author Keith Campbell from UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences in Georgia.
Grandiose narcissism, the more extroverted, callous form, positively related to time spent on social media, the frequency of updates, number of friends/followers, and the frequency of posting selfies.
Vulnerable narcissism, the more insecure form, did not show any relationship to social media, but there was relatively little research on this form of narcissism.
Campbell, co-author of the best-selling "The Narcissism Epidemic," noted that when you engage with social media, you are engaging with more narcissism than might really exist in the world and this might distort your view of the world as being more narcissistic than it is." "This is not evidence that social media causes narcissism or vice versa.
Theoretically, we suspect that individuals with pre-existing narcissism are drawn to social media, but the present evidence only establishes that the two are related," said study's lead author Jessica McCain.
"Networks on social media aren't designed by people in Silicon Valley," Campbell said. "They are built one link at a time by users. And narcissists seem to be central to this build-out.".