Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been able to show that people who grew up in the former western states of Germany have higher levels of narcissism than those whose socialization took place in the former eastern states. Between 1949 and 1989/90, life in West Germany was characterized by a culture of individualism, with life in East Germany based on more collectivist principles. Both types of societies had a major impact on citizens’ levels of self-esteem and, further, on narcissistic tendencies. According to research published in the journal Plos One, the reunification of Germany ushered in a gradual re-balancing of the distribution of these traits among the younger generation.
The term ‘narcissism’ refers to excessive self-love and self-centeredness. Narcissism is only considered a pathological phenomenon if the condition has a negative impact on the patient and if he or she develops symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. Researchers led by Prof. Dr. Stefan Röpke and Dr. Aline Vater (Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy on Campus Benjamin Franklin) were able to show that a person’s inflated sense of self-importance develops in response to societal influences. “Contemporary western societies promote narcissism. People who grew up on the western side of the former East-West border or West-Berlin had higher levels of narcissism than those who spent their childhood in the former German Democratic Republic,” explains Prof. Röpke
– Science Daily
Read more: Do Western Societies Promote Narcissism?
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