Sunday, March 11, 2007

College kids today! What'll we do with 'em?

Relating to recent discussions about "self esteem" and the current state of the world, this article discusses a study suggesting:

Today's college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society. ''We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back,'' said the study's lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. ''Kids are self-centered enough already.''

Those darn Humanists, messing up everything! I'll admit, I never sung this one in preschool:

(T)o the tune of ''Frere Jacques'': ''I am special, I am special. Look at me.''

You're a little stuck up, you're a stuck up, yes you are, yes you are. Here's a less Humanist alternative:

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile. (Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 17)

Another current article also addresses the self esteem question. One interesting point is the history:

Since the 1969 publication of The Psychology of Self-Esteem, in which Nathaniel Branden opined that self-esteem was the single most important facet of a person, the belief that one must do whatever he can to achieve positive self-esteem has become a movement with broad societal effects. Anything potentially damaging to kids’ self-esteem was axed. Competitions were frowned upon. Soccer coaches stopped counting goals and handed out trophies to everyone. Teachers threw out their red pencils. Criticism was replaced with ubiquitous, even undeserved, praise.

First posted at Psyche Killer qu'est que c'est on 2/27/07

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