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This one question can tell you if someone’s a narcissist, researchers claim

Can you spot a narcissist?

Narcissism is a personality trait that affects a significant number of individuals, and chances are you may know someone who exhibits narcissistic tendencies.

Whether it’s a friend, a family member, or a romantic partner, encountering a narcissist can be a challenging experience.

A single question can reveal whether a person is narcissistic or not. Being a narcissist means you are egotistical, self-focused, and vain.


Don’t get this wrong, there are other surveys that measure the level of narcissism of an individual. This includes the widely used Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) which has 40 questions.

So, what is the difference between the two surveys? More questions do not mean more effective. The main advantage of the one-question survey is that it enables researchers to identify self-centered people easily.

However, NPI provides more information for researchers to identify the form of the narcissism of the person. In addition, the single-question tool takes 20 seconds to answer, while the NPI with forty questions usually takes 13.3 minutes to finish. 

So what’s that ONE QUESTION…

Ohio State researchers developed a questionnaire to determine whether a person is narcissistic. After a series of 11 experiments involving more than 2,200 people of all ages, researchers proved that they can identify narcissistic people by asking a single question.

The question is: To what extent do you agree with this statement: “I am a narcissist.” (Note: The word “narcissist” means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.) The participant will rate himself on a scale of one (not very true of me) to seven (very true of me).

Yes, the question is simply a self-assessment whether you think you are a narcissist or not.


Researchers found out that people who are willing to admit that they are more narcissistic than others are actually narcissists.

According to Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University, “People who are narcissists are almost proud of the fact.
You can ask them directly because they don’t see narcissism as a negative quality — they believe they are superior to other people and are fine with saying that publicly.”


“I’ve been studying aggression for about 30 years, and I’ve seen that the most harmful belief that a person can have is that they’re superior to others,” Bushman shared.

“Men are better than women, my race is better than your race, my religion is superior to your religion. When people believe they’re better than other people, they act accordingly.”

Bushman’s statement is probably true for a lot of narcissists since they do not hurt others by being one and they probably think that there is nothing wrong with focusing on oneself. However, it is important to understand that narcissism has impacts on the person’s life.

According to Sara Konrath of Indiana University, narcissistic people have low empathy, which may affect their desire to help others.

Their self-centeredness, constant need for admiration, and lack of empathy can make relationships with them particularly difficult. If you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist, you may have encountered manipulation, emotional abuse, and a constant imbalance in the focus of attention.

Understanding the dynamics of such relationships and finding ways to protect your well-being become paramount in navigating these complex situations.

(Note: This article is for informational purposes only and not to be treated as a professional opinion or diagnosis.)

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