June 11, 2012
America is for Self-lovers

Many years ago, watching TV, I realized that we had turned some sort of a corner. The host had announced a guest, who came on stage to wild applause. The guest joined in, clapping enthusiastically for herself. If this catches on, I thought, we are doomed. It caught on.

And so this, by Michael Haederle at Pacific Standard, comes as no surprise.

Of note: many of the men classified as psychopaths in Blackwood’s study would not have met the criteria for psychopathy in the United States, he says. Psychopathy is diagnosed with a standard checklist that scores various traits on a scale of 40. In Europe, a score of 25 qualifies someone as a psychopath, he says, while the threshold in the U.S. is 30. The average score in the British study was 28, he says.

“I’m always slightly careful about this with American audiences,” Blackwood says in trying to explain the differing thresholds. “It’s something to do with a different approach to the self in America. There is a degree of narcissism that is more culturally appropriate in America than it is in England.”



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at June 11, 2012 10:20 AM
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"There is a degree of narcissism that is more culturally appropriate in America than it is in England."

Oops. "Culturally appropriate"? In the context of "Master Race"? Blimey!

Posted by: Peter on June 11, 2012 11:24 AM

In England, home of the royal "we," doesn't narcissism vary by class?

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on June 12, 2012 1:32 AM

What's the old saying? "Self-praise is no recommendation."

Posted by: John Anthony Curran on June 13, 2012 11:18 PM

I wondered when it became obvious that Clinton was such a narcissist how the country would be able to continue to thrive as he moved from adoring audience to adoring audience for admiration and praise.

Who knew at that time he would decide the Bush money would be the best?

Then when we viewed Dumbya's enfantile obsessions and the media silently (and some loudly encouraged) applauded, we should have known that had become the United Narcissistic States.

Now, under the cloak of Obamania we fear looking outward (as the rest of the world is) because we have been dragged kicking and screaming to the knowledge of what this narcissism brings: the idea that total world domination by ourselves is the only truth we can tolerate.

Mitters is only another who wants to get in line.

Posted by: Suzan on June 16, 2012 2:08 PM
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