Narcissism Can Kill You

People with narcissistic personalities show greater levels of stress hormones in their bodies, according to new research. In the long run, that can mean higher rates of heart disease and hypertension.

What's the Latest Development?

Certain individuals who score high on tests of narcissism also exhibit elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. That is the conclusion of new research which gave 106 college students personality tests and measured the presence of cortisol in their saliva. Students who exhibited more negative traits associated with narcissism, such as feelings of entitlement and the desire to exploit others, also carried higher biological markers of stress. Those with positive traits, like self-confidence and leadership skills, were not as stressed.

What's the Big Idea?

Cortisol is a biological necessity. The stress hormone is a natural response to environmental threatsbeing chased by a saber-toothed tiger or a warring clan, for example. Its presence increases the heart rate, making you more alert but also putting stress on blood vessels. That is why a constant flow of cortisol can result in fatal conditions like heart disease. What's worse, negatively narcissistic people, unlike extremely anxious individuals, did not register their own feelings of stress, making it less likely they would seek treatment.

Photo credit:

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists invent method to extract gold from liquid waste

The next gold rush might take place in our sewers.

Surprising Science
  • Even though we think of it as exceedingly rare, gold can be found all around us.
  • The trouble is, most of the gold is hard to get at; its too diluted in our waste or ocean waters to effectively extract.
  • This new technique quickly, easily, and reliably extracts gold from most liquids.
Keep reading Show less

How 'dark horses' flip the script of success and happiness

What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.

Big Think Books

When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.

Keep reading Show less