Do you hit up Comic Con as often as possible? Have you been known to dress up as a superhero? Is it possible that you’re a big video gamer?
If so, there’s also a pretty good possibility that you’re a narcissist. Yes, you.
According to a new study from the University of Georgia, your friendly neighborhood Star Wars geek is far more likely to be a narcissist than someone who doesn’t follow the legendary movie franchise religiously.
In the study, psychologists closely evaluated and documented the personalities of people who were self-professed to be obsessed with geek culture, including movie franchises such as Star Wars.
Study authors Jessica McCain, Brittany Gentile and W. Keith Campbell define “geek culture” as a “subculture of enthusiasts that is traditionally associated with obscure media (Japanese animation, science fiction, video games, etc.).”
They created created a “Geek Culture Engagement Scale” and a “Geek Identity Scale” to measure the results of their work – and believe it or not, those who scored high on both of the scales turned out to be statistically far more likely to be narcissistic.
Shocked? I was, honestly – but then it all started to make sense. See, those who were the subjects of the study were scored on a scale of one to five, depending on how often they played Dungeons and Dragons, participated in role playing games and dressed up in fantasy costumes. Plus, they were scored on how much they liked various topics, such as robotics, video games and movies like “Star Wars.”
Even more, we can all agree that thanks to shows like The Big Bang Theory as well as the advent of technology, more and more geeks are coming out of the woodwork. The study authors say that “geek culture is becoming increasingly mainstream,” adding that “in the past year alone, New York Comic Con, one of the premier geek conventions in the United States, attracted over 130,000 attendees.”
“Our findings suggest that geek media is especially attractive to narcissists, independent of demographic variables,” study author Jessica McCain writes, adding that the results only capture a snapshot of geek culture. More research would be needed, she notes.
Even so, the study points out that “ despite the popularity of geek culture, it has received little attention from the social sciences.”
So, what do you think? In your experience, have the geeks in your life been narcissists? Are you a “geek” by this definition? While the research doesn’t mean that all geeks are narcissists (or that all narcissists are geeks), it looks like there might be some kind of link there.
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. Let’s talk about this.