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More Narcism Means Less Accurate Survey Data

Narcism is impacting human experience data

Our world is more and more focused on self every single day. This tendency toward narcism is being driven by multiple factors, creating the reality that how we are perceived is at the forefront of our minds more than any time in history.

This combined with a desire to drive attention spans down is having a significant impact on the validity of data collection that we see used broadly to measure human experience.

Survey Data Usage

When it comes to using survey data, the case studies are wide ranging:

  • Digital data (through apps, software, social media, etc)
  • In-person customer experience data (retail, concerts, training programs, workplace)
  • Audio data (telephone surveys)

In 2022 we see some of the most popular tools being directly related to things that meet two key criteria:

  • Require very short attention spans.
  • Are self indulgent.

Whether it is a social media tool that shows videos in 30s chunks and rewards the user for the amount of “likes” they get, or a workplace training that people only sign up for if it’s short and leads to their own benefit, we see these two criteria becoming the norm.

Narcism and Survey Data

The realities that have been outlined above leads to a very important conclusion that needs to be acknowledged in order to measure human experience accurately.

We can no longer trust that surveys are being filled out with any level of accuracy, regardless of methodology, industry, or user.

It is now safe to assume that every time somebody answers questions on an app, in person, or over the phone, they are answering through a heavily skewed lens of:

  • “How can I get through this as fast as possible?”
  • “How can I respond in a way that makes me appear most favourable?”

What Now?

Simply put, it is out duty to ensure that we are driving human experience data collection that adapts to this reality in the modern age. We need to innovate methods that remove some of these serious variables, while also adjusting human experience data collection to be more attractive to the user.

If nothing else, the most important aspect of this reality is that anyone seeking valid human experience data needs to move away from tools that use survey-based methods and invest in truly modern tools. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to be truly certain about your data.

Citations

Adadi, A. (2021). A survey on data‐efficient algorithms in Big Data Era. Journal of Big Data, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40537-021-00419-9 

Andreassen, C. S., Pallesen, S., & Griffiths, M. D. (2017). The relationship between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem: Findings from a large national survey. Addictive Behaviors, 64, 287–293. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.03.006

Ding, Z.-H., Li, H.-C., Quan, L., & Wang, H.-Q. (2018). Reluctant to speak? the impact of supervisor narcissism on employee prohibitive voice. Social Behavior and Personality: an International Journal, 46(10), 1713–1726. https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.7233 

Giacomin, M., & Jordan, C. H. (2016). Self-focused and feeling fine: Assessing state narcissism and its relation to well-being. Journal of Research in Personality, 63, 12–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2016.04.009 

Ramzaev, M. V. (2015). Modern aspects in development of branch applications on the basis of Big Data: Possibilities, prospects and limitations. Collection of Selected Papers of the I International Conference on Information Technology and Nanotechnology. https://doi.org/10.18287/1613-0073-2015-1490-355-363 

Reed, P. (n.d.). Narcissism and social media: Should we be afraid? Psychology Today. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/digital-world-real-world/201909/narcissism-and-social-media-should-we-be-afraid 

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