Edition 1488
18 August 2018
Edition: 1488

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.


“Collective narcissism” behind Brexit vote

by TPN/PA, in News · 30-11-2017 12:56:00 · 14 Comments

An outbreak of “collective narcissism” was a key factor that led the British population to vote for Brexit, psychologists claim.

“Collective narcissism” behind Brexit vote

Researchers investigated the role of xenophobia - fear of foreigners - in the referendum that led 52 percent of voters to support Britain leaving the European Union.
They found that “predictors of prejudice” were strongly linked to a tendency to back Brexit and be happy with the referendum’s outcome, regardless of age, gender or education.
In addition, an assessment of personality types showed that people who felt threatened by immigrants fell into three distinct groups.
Some were “authoritarian” or “socially dominant” while others were described as “collective narcissists”.
Collective narcissists were individuals who believed Britain was so great it deserved privileged treatment, but its “true importance and value” was not recognised by other countries, said the scientists.
Lead researcher, Dr Agnieszka Golec de Zavala, from Goldsmiths, University of London, said: “Collective narcissism is not a good attitude to have. We should study how this becomes a group norm and find ways of preventing it from happening and spreading.
“From Brexit, Trump and support for Vladimir Putin in Russia to the nationalist, ultra- conservative government in Poland, studies from ours and other labs show that collective narcissism systematically predicts prejudice, aggression and a tendency to interpret innocent behaviours as provocation to the national group.”
The team - including investigators from the UK, Poland and Portugal - conducted two online surveys involving a total of 506 participants.
Writing in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, they described “right wing authoritarianism”, “social dominance orientation” and “collective narcissism” as “robust predictors of prejudice”.
All were related to the Brexit vote and support for the referendum’s outcome “via the perceived threat of immigrants”.
The authors added: “This suggests that the Brexit vote was motivated by different concerns instigating prejudice.
“Collective narcissism was an independent and at least equally strong (if not stronger) predictor of the perceived threat of immigrants and support for the referendum’s outcome as the other robust psychological predictors of xenophobia: right wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation.”


As a Brit, this seems to hit the nail on the head.

Brexitters are by and large under-educated, under-performers, and therefore try to make up for this by believing they are a member of some kind of special, chosen race, deserving of benefits just by virtue of being a member of this special elite.

They ignore the obvious economic consequences, and the obvious important role that immigrants play in keeping the NHS and many skilled industries running, not to mention food production and many lower skilled industries where brexitters themselves are either retired or wilfully lazy and unemployed.

So I very much hope for hard brexit, nothing will teach these people a lesson about just how 'special and important' they really are like isolation and self-imposed economic collapse. Especially as most brexitters are over 60 and so will be far harder hit by the collapse in the NHS.
by Paul from Lisbon on 04-12-2017 10:20:00
Collective narcissism and xenophobia nicely illustrated in the comments
by Old Man from UK on 04-12-2017 02:01:00
"2 online surveys with a total of 509 participants"
... and this is "Frontiers in Psychology"
Regardless of the conclusions, beware lazy 'academics' getting their names in the papers with flawed 'research'.
by Michael Pass from Algarve on 03-12-2017 08:01:00
Sadly, what so many people forget is that 48% of us voted to stay in so please don't tar all us Brits with the same xenophobic brush. Many of us are as unhappy with Brexit, just as so many Americans are with Trump.
by Jackie from UK on 02-12-2017 06:16:00
In my hay-day living in the UK and in the services, there have always been an immigration issue with people from the commonwealth countries., Now they arrive from the poor regions of Europe. In my hay-day, there was no place to live and work than the UK. NO MORE, Immigration control should have been implemented in the mid-sixties when there were issues with people from you know where?, arriving illegally. OK, there are pros-and-cons being within the EU.
Now racism reared it's head again-too late to change this.
by Dr.Albert from Other on 02-12-2017 06:15:00
What a load of rubbish, if the state does not increase housing schools, hospitals, as the population grows then of course the resulting difficulties will be directed at the reason for the population growth.
by JOHN bray from UK on 02-12-2017 11:05:00

They should be more concerned with stemming the flow of they're own racist bile, views void of logic and reason. Voting brexit was a pure act of idiocy, not feeling remorse or shame for doing so, at this stage, what with the circus that has unfolded, can only mean that you are a cabbage.
by Sarah from UK on 01-12-2017 07:37:00
Complete fabrication. Great Britain is special that's a fact. All the rubbish from Europe Asia Africa think they have a right to turn up and be doled money housing etc. Well that's all changing we have had ENOUGH!
by Derek Woodyatt from UK on 01-12-2017 07:28:00
This is rubbish. It smacks of Orwellian psychological manipulation - how we are 'supposed' to think? To prevent people thinking like that? And why pray does she think we are bothered about the Empire and some 'glorious past'? Most people alive today haven't a clue about that. What most people were bothered for was the anti democratic EU with Brussels and the Commission unelected. We voted for democracy. In a country which has thrown off the yolk of a dictator, it should not be difficult to understand how British people were alarmed by the direction the EU is taking.
by Alexander Lewis from UK on 01-12-2017 06:44:00
Oh dear, ignorance is bliss.
by Shay from Lisbon on 01-12-2017 05:03:00
.... Uummm... Me, otherwise quite happy?
by Two.sugars.in.my.tea from Algarve on 01-12-2017 03:00:00
Dr AG deZavaia is clearly not British. Perhaps she/he and the ‘ Researchers’ are not happy that the Uk is leaving the EC. He/she is not Anglo Saxon British so is not qualified to comment upon British Society. If they cannot accept us, please leave to live in another country. I agree the article is utter rubbish and a waste of money to those who financed the ‘research’ probably the British taxpayers!
by Geoffrey Ryder from UK on 01-12-2017 12:57:00
The reason for Brexit is simple. The UK people want to stem the flow of unskilled immigrants and refugees coming to the UK from Romenia Bulgaria etc and the mass of refugees given asylum and European nationality in Germany, where they do not want to stay. The UK will always need skilled people but we don’t want those who come to live off our benefit system and don’t want to learn English and integrate into British society.
It surprises me that the Portuguese people accept subservience to unelected dictators in Brussels.
by Geoffrey Ryder from UK on 01-12-2017 12:31:00
I have !!! never!!! read such utter rubbish in your paper before.
by Me from UK on 01-12-2017 12:12:00

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Edition 1488
18 August 2018
Edition: 1488

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.



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