Narcissists Rejoice: Self-Centeredness Is an Asset

Andreas Pollok | Getty Images

Self-absorbed behavior may be good for your career on Wall Street.

A study jointly performed by professors from the London Business School and Harvard Business School purports to show that 'Luxury' makes people behave in more self-centered ways.

Apparently, our great institutions of higher learning have just caught on: Spoiled people sometimes behave badly.

Further, Professors Roy Y.J. Chua and Xi Zou, suggest that "luxury goods have an important effect on human behavior that is only now becoming clear—and that may have implications for addressing the continuation of objectionable choices among, for example, high-flying executives on Wall Street."

It's difficult to know exactly how to respond to that.

The story comes to us from Alyson Shontell at business insider.

Shontell adds: "…people who drive around in town cars and zip across the country in private jets make selfish decisions that enable them to do so. They make decisions that best benefit themselves and don't consider others as much. Chua says this could be the reason so many high-paid executives, like those on Wall Street, act irresponsibly"

But here's my favorite line from the interview with Chua: "Luxury does not necessarily induce one to do harm to others, but simply causes one to be less concerned or considerate toward them."

In other words: Don't be offended. You aren't important enough to merit actual malice. You are merely collateral damage — an extra in the movie of someone else's life.

Of course, correlations can run both ways. One can pursue a healthy interest in 'luxury' because one begins life feeling more self-entitled in the first place. And, one imagines, cause-and-effect can become inextricably entwined — creating a vicious spiral of luxury and self-centered decision-making.

Chua also makes the leap to inferring a proposed remedy from his data set luxury and selfishness: "Perhaps besides limiting the size of bonuses, limiting corporate excesses and luxuries might be a step toward getting executives to behave more responsibly."

If the administration is open to taking its cue from Chua, look forward to regulators coming into your bedroom to check the thread count on your sheets. _______________________________________________

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