Where Creativity Meets Narcissism

Do you have someone in your life who is constantly reading you their latest poem, showing off their latest thirty seconds of strumming, or showing you their latest black and white out of focus picture? If so, congratulations, your life sucks, and the findings of this study won’t surprise you: clinically diagnosed narcissists are highly likely to think that they’re creative, and they just can’t wait to tell you about it.

Researchers who published in Thinking Skills and Creativity conducted an experiment with 207 undergraduates. First, they took a series of tests to measure the “big five” psychological traits: neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Then, they provided an assessment of their own creativity and indicated how many creative activities they had tried in the past year, out of a list of thirty-four. Finally, they completed a test that measured their level of narcissism.

When all the scores were tabulated and compared, it was discovered that not only did the biggest narcissists have the most self-reported creativity, but they also had the highest level of engagement in creative activities; that is, rather than just sticking with a couple of creative activities, the narcissists were the most likely to report trying a wide range.

This isn’t to say that narcissists are better at being creative; rather, this study says that narcissists are more likely to think that they are, and they can’t wait to let everyone know.



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