You’re so vain

You’re so vain

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Online social networking sites such as Facebook may be useful tools for detecting narcissism, a UGA study shows.

Researcher Laura Buffardi, a doctoral student in psychology, and associate professor of psychology W. Keith Campbell gave personality questionnaires to about 130 Facebook users, analyzed the content of the pages and had untrained strangers view the pages and rate their impression of the owner’s narcissism. They found that the number of Facebook friends and wall-posts that individuals have on their profile pages correlates with narcissism. These findings are consistent with how narcissists behave in the real world, with numerous yet shallow relationships.

Narcissists are also more likely to choose glamorous, self-promoting pictures for their main profile photos while others are more likely to use snapshots, the research indicates.

The researchers contend that narcissism may keep people from forming healthy, long-term relationships because although they may initially be seen as charming, they end up using people for their own advantage. The study was published in the October issue of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.