Scientists discover a new way to detect narcissism

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Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by inflated self-esteem and a deep need for undue attention and admiration.

People with narcissistic traits often lack empathy for others and are seen as arrogant, self-centered, and demanding.

These traits can lead to difficulties in personal relationships and contribute to problematic behavior in various social and professional contexts.

In a recent development, a research team consisting of psychologists from the University of Helsinki and Millsaps College has identified a subtle physical sign associated with narcissistic personalities.

This discovery, detailed in an article published in the journal Psychophysiology, could offer a new approach to early detection of narcissism, helping individuals and professionals spot such traits early, especially before they form a deep relationship.

Research Procedures and Results

The research team recruited 57 participants, all of whom had previously been identified as having a narcissistic personality.

Participants were asked to complete a series of cognitively challenging tasks, and upon completion, sensors were attached to parts of their faces.

The volunteers then listened to a critique of their performance. They were divided into three groups, with some receiving high praise, others receiving a neutral rating, and the rest receiving negative feedback.

The participants were then asked about their feelings about the tasks and the feedback they received.

The researchers discovered an intriguing detail: The participants who received a negative rating exhibited an involuntary, covert facial muscle response.

These responses included tiny movements of the forehead and smile muscles. However, these reactions were fleeting, lasting only a fraction of a second.

In the world of poker, such a reaction is known as a “tell” – a change in a player’s demeanor or demeanor that provides clues as to the evaluation of his hand.

In the context of this study, this story serves as a potential red flag for those considering a relationship with someone who may have narcissistic traits.

However, it is not easy to recognize this tell. Given the extremely short duration of these facial reactions, an observer would have to look very closely to see this subtle hint of narcissism.

Implications and Applications

Identifying this physical tell opens up new avenues for understanding and dealing with narcissistic personalities.

This discovery could be invaluable to therapists, counselors, and individuals, providing an additional tool for early detection of narcissistic traits.

However, this story is only part of a larger picture. Recognizing narcissism requires extensive observation and understanding of a person’s behavior, attitudes, and responses in different contexts and over time.

Furthermore, given the complexity and diversity of human behavior, it is crucial not to label someone as a narcissist based on just one observation.

Nonetheless, this research is an important step towards improving our understanding of narcissism.

Future research could further explore the validity and reliability of this tell, and explore other physical, cognitive, or emotional tells associated with narcissistic traits.

By increasing our knowledge in this area, we can better manage our relationships and encourage healthier social interactions.

If your well-being is important to you, please read Studies on 9 Key Signs You May Have Major Depression Vitamin D could help relieve symptoms of depression.

For more information on health, see recent studies on daily habits that are an effective drug for depression, and the results showing that exercise is more effective than medication in treating depression and anxiety.

The study was published In psychophysiology.

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