"Over the past four decades, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of students who describe themselves as being "above average" for academic ability, drive to achieve, mathematical ability and self-confidence.
Self-appraisals of traits that are less individualistic - such as co-operativeness, understanding others and spirituality - saw little change, or a decrease, over the same period.
Students are increasingly likely to label themselves as gifted in writing ability, [yet] objective test scores indicate that actual writing ability has gone down since the 1960s.
Another study by Twenge suggested there has been a 30% tilt towards narcissistic attitudes in US students since 1979."
Why is there a rise in narcissism?
"In The Narcissism Epidemic, co-written with Keith Campbell, Twenge blames the growth of narcissistic attitudes on a range of trends - including parenting styles, celebrity culture, social media and access to easy credit, which allows people to appear more successful than they are."Some belief in your abilities is a good thing, but...
"You need to believe that you can go out and do something but that's not the same as thinking that you're great," says Twenge. She gives the example of a swimmer attempting to learn a turn - this person needs to believe that they can acquire that skill, but a belief that they are already a great swimmer does not help."This piece could have been lifted directly from Cain's book:
"Our culture used to encourage modesty and humility and not bragging about yourself," says Twenge. "It was considered a bad thing to be seen as conceited or full of yourself."