If you’re a smart cookie, then it makes sense that you’d kinda wanna brag about it. However, according to a new study conducted by the University of Georgia, it’s a little more nuanced than that. This new study specifically looks at the rise of “geek culture” (Star Wars and other sci-fi media) and what could be behind this increase in loud-and-proud nerdiness. Most people hypothesized that it was an increased desire for those who have perhaps at one point in their lives felt like outcasts to belong, but this study has a different theory: People participate in geek culture in order to maintain their narcissism.
This sounds kind of crazy, but researchers did find a link between interest in geek culture and, specifically, interest in geek conventions, and a tendency toward narcissism in an analysis of the Big Five personality traits (openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism), emotional needs, and narcissism. The more active a participant on a scale of geek culture, the more likely they were to have narcissistic qualities.
The study’s lead author, Jessica McCain, writes, “Our findings suggest that geek media is especially attractive to narcissists, independent of demographic variables.”
As with most scientific studies, it’s important to remember that these results capture a snapshot and aren’t necessarily representative of an entire culture, nor is it safe to conclude that all geeks are narcissists or that geek culture creates narcissism (or vice versa). There’s just an interesting link between two things that really haven’t been studied before.