Post-Grant Reports


Me, Myself, and I: Narcissism and Identity in Emerging Adulthood

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Developmental Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology


Emerging adulthood is a time in life when identity needs become salient. Individuals differ in the extent to which they are self-conscious or self-confident, and these differences at key points in development may lead to different behaviors and emotions. In order to shed light on a debate in emerging adulthood research - the question of whether increased narcissism is related to the developmental period or a certain cohort (such as millenials) - it is first necessary to understand what is meant by adulthood in order to calibrate an individual’s achievement of this life phase. To investigate this question, we engaged in a two-pronged mission. First, we analyzed pre-existing data on different traits and behaviors, such as narcissism and belonging, among emerging adults. Then, we proposed new research to illuminate the concept of adulthood and how people of different ages, genders, and other demographics understand it. This research has led to two collaborative scholarly presentations, to be presented in April 2020 at the annual Western Psychological Association convention.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield College Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant in 2019, funded by the office of Academic Affairs.

Cara Ray, an instructional associate in the Psychology Department, was a co-principal investigator. The student collaborator was Rachel Goines.

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