The BBC reports that while American college students think more highly of themselves than any time in the past half-century or so, they’re actually less-skilled and less-hardworking than at any time in the less half-century or so.
According to a survey of some 9, 000, 000 American college freshmen which began in 1966,
…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.
…while the Freshman Survey shows that students are increasingly likely to label themselves as gifted in writing ability, objective test scores indicate that actual writing ability has gone down since the 1960s.
And while the freshmen say that they’re working harder, the number of hours they actually work—never very high—is actually significantly less than students of, say, 20 years ago.
Jean Twengue, a psychologist who’s studied the data, draws this conclusion:
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.
I’m buying it…but I wonder what people who actually deal with college freshmen think. Anyone?