On the social networking site Facebook, you can join the group “I’m not a narcissist, I just love myself!”
But that would probably make you more of an ironist than a true narcissist.
Spotting narcissists from their Facebook profiles, however, can be done, says a recent University of Georgia study. Anybody who has spent time on the site—noticing a friend posting that he is “sipping a cappuccino” on some European boulevard, for example—would surely agree.
Facebook users who scored high on a test for narcissistic traits tended to have self-promoting status updates and quotes on the site, a high level of interaction, and “sexier and more self-promoting” photos of themselves, the study found.
“Narcissists function well in the context of shallow relationships,” wrote the authors of “Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites,” published in the October Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
“Social networking Web sites are built on the base of superficial ‘friendships’ with many individuals and ‘soundbyte’ driven communication between friends.”
The narcissists tend to post quotes that are “less entertaining and clever than those with low narcissism,” the study found.
Not mentioned was another surefire way to spot a narcissist on Facebook: a profile photo featuring the person gazing lovingly into a reflecting pool.