Researchers from Ohio State University have identified a new method that they believe can identify people who have narcissism with just one single question. The researchers performed 11 different experiments, with over 2,200 participants which covered almost all age groups. What the researchers found was surprising. Participants were asked to evaluate a single statement, “I am a narcissist”, on a scale of 1 to 7. A 1 rating for this statement meant that this was not true at all, with a 7 rating showing that the participant agreed with the statement completely. The statement rating for narcissism diagnosis study showed that this test, called the Single Item Narcissism Scale, correlates with other narcissism identification tools, such as the Narcissistic Personality Inventory which has 40 different questions that must be answered.
According to researcher, study co-author, and Ohio State University communication and psychology professor Brad Bushman “People who are willing to admit they are more narcissistic than others probably actually are more narcissistic. People who are narcissists are almost proud of the fact. You can ask them directly because they don’t see narcissism as a negative quality — they believe they are superior to other people and are fine with saying that publicly.” The goal is not to replace the current narcissism identification and diagnosis tools but to use the new test to compliment the other resources that are currently available. Bushman commented that “Overall, narcissism is problematic for both individuals and society. Those who think they are already great don’t try to improve themselves. And narcissism is bad for society because people who are only thinking of themselves and their own interests are less helpful to others.”