Narcissists believes democracy is bad for society, and prefer a strong leader or military rule, researchers have found.

Researchers say they ‘tend to feel entitled and superior to others, which results in lower tolerance of diverse political opinions.’

In contrast, people who take a positive, non-defensive self-view and trust others are more likely to show support for democracy, the research found.

‘Support for democracy requires the ability to respect the views and opinions of others, even if one disagrees with them,’ the researchers wrote.

They said the results could have major implications for the future of society, as many believe new  generations are becoming more narcissistic.

Excessive use of social media – in particular the posting of images and selfies – has been linked to a subsequent increase in narcissism, research has found.

One study warned findings could mean up to a fifth of the population could be at risk of developing such narcissistic traits associated with their excessive visual social media use.

‘The jury is out on whether the new generations are becoming more narcissistic than previous ones, but it is important to monitor how societal changes can affect the self,’ said Dr Aleksandra Cichocka, of Kent’s School of Psychology, who led the study with Dr Marta Marchlewska, of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

‘We need to make sure we are not fostering feelings of entitlement or expectations of special treatment. 

‘In the end, these processes may have important implications for our social and political attitudes.’  

The study, the findings of which are published as My way or the highway: high narcissism and low self-esteem predict decreased support for democracy, consisted of two parts that analysed the relationship between different types of self-evaluation – narcissism and self-esteem – and support for democracy in the US and Poland.

The team set out to understand the psychological mechanisms driving support for democracy. 

They built on previous research which demonstrated that basic personality traits can predict broader opinions about the organisation of the social world.

Excessive use of social media – in particular the posting of images and selfies – has been linked to a subsequent increase in narcissism, research has found.

The study authors warned their findings could mean up to a fifth of the population could be at risk of developing such narcissistic traits associated with their excessive visual social media use.

Researchers from Swansea University and Milan University studied the personality changes of 74 individuals aged 18 to 34 over a four-month period.

They also assessed the participants’ usage of social media – including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – during the period.

Those who used social media excessively, through visual postings, displayed an average 25% increase in such narcissistic traits over the four months of the study.

This increase took many of these participants above the clinical cut-off for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, according to the measurement scale used.

Narcissism is a personality characteristic that can involve grandiose exhibitionism, beliefs relating to entitlement, and exploiting others.

The study found that those who primarily used social media for verbal postings, such as Twitter, did not show these effects.

However, in this group of participants, their initial levels of narcissism predicted a growth in this form of social media usage over time.

The more narcissistic they were to begin with, the more verbal postings they made later.

All but one of the people in the study used social media, and their average use was around three hours a day, excluding usage for work.

Some reported using social media for as much as eight hours a day for non-work related purposes.

Facebook was used by 60% of participants, while 25% used Instagram, and 13% used Twitter and Snapchat each.

More than two-thirds of the participants primarily used social media for posting images.

Professor Phil Reed, from Swansea University’s Department of Psychology, led the research.

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