Baby boomers more sensitive than millennials: study

Who’s the real snowflake? It’s not millennials, according to a new study.

The survey of 750 people between 13 and 77, published Dec. 10 in the journal Psychology and Aging, shows that contrary to popular belief, baby boomers tend to be the most hypersensitive and narcissistic generation.

“There’s a narrative in our culture that generations are getting more and more narcissistic, but no one has ever looked at it throughout generations or how it varies with age at the same time,” William Chopik, associate professor of psychology at MSU and lead author of the study told Science Daily.

“One of the most surprising findings was that — also contrary to what many people think — individuals who were born earlier in the century started off with higher levels of hyper-sensitivity, or the type of narcissism where people are full of themselves, as well as willfulness, which is the tendency to impose opinions on others,” Chopik said.

Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships and a lack of empathy for others.”

“One thing about narcissists is that they’re not open to criticism. When life happens and you’re forced to accept feedback, break up with someone or have tragedy strike, you might need to adjust to understanding that you’re not as awesome as you once thought,” Chopik said. “There’s a sense in which narcissists start to realize that being the way they are isn’t smart if they want to have friends or meaningful relationships.”



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