Jean Twenge

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Jean M. Twenge
Born
Jean Marie Twenge

(1971-08-24) August 24, 1971 (age 49)
EducationUniversity of Chicago
University of Michigan
Children3 daughters[1]
Scientific career
FieldsPsychology
InstitutionsSan Diego State University
ThesisAssertiveness, sociability, and anxiety: a cross-temporal meta-analysis, 1928-1993 (1998)

Jean Marie Twenge (born August 24, 1971) is an American psychologist researching generational differences, including work values, life goals, and speed of development. She is a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, author, consultant, and public speaker.[2] She has examined generational differences in work attitudes,[3] life goals,[4] developmental speed,[5] sexual behavior,[6] and religious commitment.[7]

She is also known for her books iGen (2017), Generation Me (2006, updated 2014) and The Narcissism Epidemic (2009, co-authored with W. Keith Campbell). In the September 2017 issue of The Atlantic, Twenge argued that smartphones were the most likely cause behind the sudden increases in mental health issues among teens after 2012.[8][9] Twenge co-authored a 2017 corpus linguistics analysis that said that George Carlin's "seven dirty words you can't say on television" were used 28 times more frequently in 2008 than in 1950 in the texts at Google Books. Twenge said the increase is due to the dominance of self over social conventions.[10]

Books[edit]

  • The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement (2010) ISBN 9781494502348
  • Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before (2014) ISBN 978-1476755564
  • Social Psychology (co-authored with David G. Myers) (2012) ISBN 9780078035296
  • Personality Psychology: Understanding Yourself and Others (co-authored with W. Keith Campbell) (2016) ISBN 9780205917426
  • The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant (2017) ISBN 9781541456235
  • iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood (2017) ISBN 9781501151989

Debates[edit]

Writing in The New York Times in 2013, Jeffrey Arnett was critical of her research on narcissism among millennials. He wrote that "I think she is vastly misinterpreting or over-interpreting the data, and I think it’s destructive". His criticisms of her work on narcissism include that she relies on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), which he says is inherently flawed at measuring narcissism.[11] Twenge has responded to this criticism by writing that the NPI "...it is employed in 77% of studies of narcissistic traits," and that it "...is also the best self-report predictor of narcissistic traits derived from clinical interviews." She also argues that "Documenting trends in young people’s self-reported traits and attitudes is empirical research, not a complaint or a stereotype."[12]

In 2017, Twenge wrote an article in The Atlantic asking "Have smartphones destroyed a generation?" which presented findings from her new book iGen.[8] Sarah Rose Cavanagh in Psychology Today disagreed with Twenge's negative view, arguing that Twenge had ignored data supporting positive findings, presented correlation as causation, over-generalized and not taken social contexts into account.[13] Twenge responded to her critics in the same publication, citing a meta-analysis and controlled experiments that showed a negative effect of social media on happiness. She said that her article and book had also highlighted positive trends. She also denied that she was outright opposed to technology: "smartphone or internet use of up to an hour or two a day is not linked with mental health issues or unhappiness... It's two hours a day and beyond that that's the issue."[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jean M. Twenge Ph.D." Psychology Today.
  2. ^ Schawbel, Dan. "Jean Twenge: What Employers Need To Know About iGen". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  3. ^ Campbell, Stacy M.; Twenge, Jean M.; Campbell, W. Keith (2017-04-01). "Fuzzy But Useful Constructs: Making Sense of the Differences Between Generations". Work, Aging and Retirement. 3 (2): 130–139. doi:10.1093/workar/wax001. ISSN 2054-4642.
  4. ^ Twenge, J. M. (2012). "Generational differences in young adults' life goals, concern for others, and civic orientation, 1966-2009" (PDF). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 102 (5): 1045–1062. doi:10.1037/a0027408. PMID 22390226.
  5. ^ Twenge, Jean M.; Park, Heejung (2017). "The Decline in Adult Activities Among U.S. Adolescents, 1976–2016". Child Development. 90 (2): 638–654. doi:10.1111/cdev.12930. ISSN 1467-8624. PMID 28925063.
  6. ^ Twenge, Jean M.; Sherman, Ryne A.; Wells, Brooke E. (2017-02-01). "Sexual Inactivity During Young Adulthood Is More Common Among U.S. Millennials and iGen: Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on Having No Sexual Partners After Age 18". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 46 (2): 433–440. doi:10.1007/s10508-016-0798-z. ISSN 0004-0002. PMID 27480753.
  7. ^ Twenge, Jean M.; Exline, Julie J.; Grubbs, Joshua B.; Sastry, Ramya; Campbell, W. Keith (2015-05-11). "Generational and Time Period Differences in American Adolescents' Religious Orientation, 1966–2014". PLOS One. 10 (5): e0121454. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121454. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4427319. PMID 25962174.
  8. ^ a b Twenge, Jean M. "Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  9. ^ Denizet-Lewis, Benoit (October 11, 2017). "Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?". The New York Times. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  10. ^ Twenge, Jean M.; VanLandingham, Hannah; Campbell, W. Keith (2017-08-03). "The Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television: Increases in the Use of Swear Words in American Books, 1950-2008". SAGE Open. 7 (3): 215824401772368. doi:10.1177/2158244017723689. Lay summaryThe Guardian (2017-08-08).
  11. ^ Quenqua, Douglas (2013-08-05). "Seeing Narcissists Everywhere". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  12. ^ Jean M. Twenge (2013-03-01). "Overwhelming Evidence for Generation Me: A Reply to Arnett". Emerging Adulthood. 1 (1): 21–26. doi:10.1177/2167696812468112. ISSN 2167-6968.
  13. ^ "No, Smartphones are Not Destroying a Generation". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  14. ^ Twenge, Jean (2017). "Making iGen's Mental Health Issues Disappear". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2019-01-08.

External links[edit]