People who gush over science, video games and geeky stuff such as "Star Wars" are more likely to be narcissist, a new study found. Researchers described such individuals to have an elevated level of grandiose narcissism.
After performing a total of seven experiments, scientists from the University of Georgia discovered that those who considered themselves geeky scored higher in narcissism tests.
The series of studies involved 2,354 participants who took part of the online surveys or attended a science-fiction convention called Dragon*Con.
The study subjects were asked to rate themselves from one to five to describe how frequently they participate in activities such as cosplaying, robotics, live action games and enjoying "Star Wars" films, among many others.
People who participated in the Dragon*Con were found to score higher in the geek engagement scale than those who answered the online questionnaire.
Participants who play Dungeons and Dragons and join cosplay activities are more likely to develop more advanced levels of neuroticism and non-clinical depression.
In the five studies performed, narcissism and geek engagement exhibited a strong positive relationship with each other. The said association persisted even after the researchers controlled factors such as the age, sex and education.
"We can say with high confidence that geek engagement is positively related to narcissism," the researchers wrote.
The authors, who also said they scored high on the geek scale, said that dressing up and participating in conventions may be a way for these people to show off.
Getting involved may also be a way for enthusiasts to get out of the realities of life. Researchers also discovered that engaging in geek activities give people a sense of belonging and a medium to express creativity.
Geek culture used to involve people interested in Japanese animation, video games and science fiction. In the past, such interests were classified as obscure. Now, it has become increasingly popular and even mainstream.
Although geek culture has become more common, it is still lacking a spotlight in the social sciences. The authors think that the rising tendency of people to take part in a culture that involves magical and action-packed adventures may be connected to impaired belongingness and narcissism.
The study was published in the PLOS One journal.
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