Jean Twenge, author of the book “Generation Me” and a psychology professor at San Diego State University, has made a career out of finding data that she says shows that college students and others their age are more self-centered than past generations. Recently, she has come up with data showing that they also feel more superior about themselves than their elderd did when they were young.
About this she said, “There are some advantages and some disadvantages to self-esteem, so having some degree of confidence is a good thing.” The problem is though, that “it’s not just confidence. It’s overconfidence.” This, she says, can easily pose problems in relationships and the workplace.
More than this, Twenge and her colleagues found that a high and growing percentage of incoming college freshmen rated themselves as “above average” in several categories, compared with the same types of students 50 years ago.
Might this be because students have been given better grades? Twenge definitely thinks so.
Many bosses and others in the workplace have said that recent college students often arrive with ridiculously high expectations for salary and unwillingness to handle criticism. Other though, like psychologist Jeffrey Arnett, has said that “a lot of them have a confidence that we wished we had.”
So some confidence is definitely respected. What we have to watch out for these days is overconfidence.