MSNBC: "Are we raising a nation of little egomaniacs?"
From MSNBC: "Are we raising a nation of little egomaniacs?"
Twenge primarily attributes the increase in narcissism to the obsession of parents and educators, beginning in the early 1990s, with self-esteem, praise and making sure children feel good. [...] “In the American Academy of Pediatrics guide to caring for your young child, self-esteem is mentioned seven times in 10 pages,” says Twenge. “From the beginning, there is so much focus on children feeling good about themselves now that other things appear to be falling by the wayside.”
This brings me to an article published in the July 2006 issue of Scientific American, "The Expert Mind"
. The authors touch upon a lot of subject, but the one I found most profound was that a large part of achieving expertise in something is, if I may summarize, just giving a shit:
Ericsson argues that what matters is not experience per se but "effortful study," which entails continually tackling challenges that lie just beyond one's competence.[...] Even the novice engages in effortful study at first, which is why beginners so often improve rapidly in playing golf, say, or in driving a car. But having reached an acceptable performance--for instance, keeping up with one's golf buddies or passing a driver's exam--most people relax. Their performance then becomes automatic and therefore impervious to further improvement. In contrast, experts-in-training keep the lid of their mind's box open all the time, so that they can inspect, criticize and augment its contents and thereby approach the standard set by leaders in their fields.
While I'm not a behavior scientist, it feels to me that self-esteem based education ends up putting kids into the comfort zone as fast as possible, essentially taking them out of the realm of "effortful study", and into the realm of permanent mediocrity.
Labels: ego, egomania, expertise, msnbc, narcisicism, scientific american, self-esteem