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The Age of Entitlement: Students Today
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  1. The Age of Entitlement: Students Today W. Keith Campbell SEC Academic Leadership Development Program

  2. Understanding Generations 101 • Defining generation • contiguous birth-cohorts • Shared physical location • share and create a specific sociocultural context • Generations are largely about cultural change • We can see these changes in cultural products (e.g., song lyrics) and in the personality of individuals • Most changes are linear – not abrupt – there is rarely a radical change between generations • Also some words of caution: • Young people do not raise themselves • Differences are larger at the extremes than the means • Generational effects and developmental effects both need to be accounted for • Changes are positive and negative

  3. Recent Generations Silent 1925-1945 Generation X 1965-1979 Boomers 1946-1964 ????? 2000-2019 Millennials 1980-1999 2004

  4. Big Theme: Increasing Individualism • Bright Side: • Increasing tolerance • Increasing Self-views (uniqueness, self-esteem) • Dark Side: • Increasing narcissism and entitlement • Increasing Materialism • Decreasing communal and civic behavior • Decreasing creativity and intrinsic motivation • Decreasing mental health in certain domains

  5. Increasing Tolerance • less prejudice against people based on group membership • Less racial prejudice • Less Homophobia • Tolerance for communists, atheists and militarists • More Prejudice against the overweight

  6. Change in Gender Pronouns d’s = -2.71 and 3.28

  7. Uniqueness in Culture

  8. Analysis of Self-Admiring Phrases unpublished data; y axis is percentage x 1,000,000 and standardized

  9. Uniqueness: The Decline of Common Names James Robert John Jacob Michael Ethan Mary Linda Barbara Emily Isabella Emma Twenge, Abebe & Campbell, 2010

  10. Hip New Names

  11. Self-Esteem “I am special” song for preschoolers (to the tune of "Frere Jacques") I am special, I am special, Look at me, You will see, Someone very special, Someone very special, It is me, It is me.

  12. Everyone is a Winner! • Everyone gets a trophy • Not keeping score • School awards

  13. High School Grade Increases U.S. Department of Education

  14. Changes in Self-Views in High School Twenge & Campbell, Psychological Science, November 2008

  15. Increases in Self-esteem (U.S.) Gentile, Twenge & Campbell, 2010

  16. College Freshman Rating Self Above Average Data from American Freshman Survey; n = 6.2 million (Twenge, Campbell, and Gentile, 2012, S&I)

  17. Are Expectations Increasing? Monitoring the Future Data; Reynolds et al. 2006

  18. Entitlement in U.S. College Students • “Trying hard” a valid reason for a professor to increase a grade: • 66% (2 out of 3) • “If I have attended most classes for a course, I deserve at least a B”: • 34% (1 out of 3) • Professors who won’t let me schedule the final exam around my vacation are too strict: • 30% (almost 1 out of 3) • Students (esp. with positive self-views) give professors bad evaluations after getting poor grades. Greenberger et al. (2008); Vaillancourt (2012)

  19. Narcissism Increases in U.S. College Students (NPI) Twenge, Konrath, Foster, Campbell, & Bushman (2008); Twenge & Foster (2009)

  20. Lifetime Prevalence of NPD (nationally representative sample; N > 34,000) Percent Age Stinson et al., 2008

  21. U.S. Presidents and Grandiose Narcissism Watts, Lilienfeld, Smith, Miller, Campbell, Waldman, Rubenzer & Faschingbauer (in press). Psych Science

  22. Increasing Materialism and Extrinsic motivation • The Democratization of Fame • Social Media • Geek culture • Architecture • Debt

  23. Fame in Tween TelevisionShows (Yuls & Greenfield, 2011) Look aroundEveryone is shining now, it's brighter somehowLook aroundNothing's really as it seems, nothing but dreamsYou and IGonna make a brand new sound, like we own this townWe can flyNow our feet are off the ground and never look downWelcome to the big timeAll the pretty people seen walkin' in the sunshineWelcome to the good timesLife will never be the same You get the limo out front Hottest styles, every shoe,every color Yea, when you're famous it can be kind of fun It's really you but no one ever discovers Who woulda thought that a girl like me Would double as a superstaaaaaar! You get the best of both worlds, You don't have to be afraid to put your dream in actionyour never gonna fade you'll be the main attractionnot a fantasyjust remember mewhen it turns out right'cuz you know that if you live in your imaginationtomorrow you'll be everybody's fascination

  24. Narcissism in Celebrities Young & Pinsky, 2006

  25. Emerging Media • Facebook • Twitter • Blogs • YouTube

  26. Buffardi & Campbell, 2008, PSPB; Gentile et al. in press

  27. Narcissism and Participation in Geek Culture

  28. Materialism: Increased Square Footage of U.S. Homes National Association of Homebuilders

  29. Materialism on Campus: “Hopemobiles” and Luxury Living • Luxury Dorms? • “Students here at the University of Georgia have a name for some of the fancy cars parked in the lots around campus. They call them Hopemobiles. But there may soon be fewer of them.” – New York Times 1/6/11

  30. Easy Credit • Credit allows some individuals to realize narcissistic fantasies • This changes norms for everyone

  31. Consumer and Public Debt Thanks Dad! I’m broke The Outstanding Public Debt as of Oct. 2013 is 16.96 Trillion dollars. . . roughly $53,500 per person(source U.S. National Debt Clock)

  32. Weakening Social Bonds: Can people be trusted? Data from General Social Survey (GSS)

  33. Change in Pronoun Use in U.S. Books, 1960-2008 d’s = -1.30 to 3.43 Twenge, Campbell, & Gentile, 2012

  34. Song Lyrics over Time DeWall, Pond, Campbell & Twenge, in press, PACA

  35. Empathy among College Students Konrath et al. (2011), n = 13,737

  36. Concern for Others Twenge & Campbell, under review; MTF data

  37. Decreasing Creativity and Intrinsic Values after 1990 scores decreased for Fluency (by 7.00%), Originality (by 3.74%),Creative Strengths (by 5.75%) scores, after 1984 scores decreased forElaboration (by 36.80%), and after 1998 scores decreased forAbstractness of Titles (by 7.41%) and Resistance to Premature Closure(1.84%). – Kyung-Hee Kim

  38. Life goals: High school seniors Twenge, Campbell & Freeman, 2012 JPSP

  39. Life goals: Entering college students Twenge, Campbell & Freeman, JPSP 2012

  40. Decline in Mental Health • 1 out of 10 of Americans on antidepressants as of 2008 (doubled since 1996) • More college students using counseling services • 1 out of 4 of college students seen at counseling centers are on psychiatric medication (doubled since 1998) • Anxiety and depressive symptoms have increased on standard questionnaires

  41. The FuturePlan A: Ride the horse the direction it is going • Extrinsic values + Ego + Debt • Link education to salaries and jobs • Cool dorms and climbing walls • Student/parent as customer

  42. The FuturePlan B: Counter the trend with CPR • Connection and Compassion • Passion/ “follow your bliss” • Responsibility • The importance of natural consequences

  43. Thank you!