If you want to know if someone's a narcissist, just ask. U.S. researchers say people who are egotistical, self-focused and vain know it -- and admit it!
The researchers conducted 11 experiments involving 2,200 people and subjects' self-evaluations were just as accurate as other measures, including the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, which has 40 questions.
"People who are willing to admit they are more narcissistic than others probably actually are more narcissistic," Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University, said in a press release.
"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."
Sara Konrath of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, who also was involved in the study, said narcissism has an impact on society since narcissists have little empathy, a key motivator for philanthropic behavior.
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"Overall, narcissism is problematic for both individuals and society. Those who think they are already great don't try to improve themselves," Bushman said.
"And narcissism is bad for society because people who are only thinking of themselves and their own interests are less helpful to others."
The study was published Tuesday in Plos One. Brian Meier of Gettysburg College was also involved in the study.