College majors by narcissism

For the past while individuals who took the Narcissistic Personality Inventory test on this website were asked to enter what they majored in at college (if they did). Above is a graph of average narcissism across all the majors that had at least 25 data points (histogram of sample sizes) after some reduction (e.g. “Business Management”, “Business Administration” -> “Business”). The sample was 52% male and the average age was 40.03 years.

Nursing and Accounting which had lower end sample sizes are different with p < 10-5.

The individual data points can be downloaded here.


  1. Jim Pivonka says:

    The test measures the narcissism of those who take it. It is subject to self selection bias, narcissistic people will take it, relatively, more than non narcissistic people.

    Self selection bias will further vary by sex. Men are more narcissistic than women, so the sample will be top heavy with men. The effects of this will be more significant in majors which not evenly balanced between men and women. (Accountancy majors are much more likely to be male, nursing majors female. One result might be that the sample is top heavy with accountants relative to nurses – if the hypothesis that men are more apt to take a narcissism test than women is true.)

    Selection bias may further vary by group/class/strata or whatever we call the grouping by college major. People with stronger interests in things related to narcissism (psychology majors) might be more inclined to take it than others. This might counter the effects of personal narcissism as a source of selection bias by providing additional, intellectual and professional, motivations to take the test.

    It would be interesting to see analyses of data like this which had been corrected (normalized) for sex and major by a random sampling process.

  2. Chrodegang says:

    Hi, I tried to take that test, but I find it impossible to choose one of only two different choices. What do I do if only part of a statement is true and not the rest? Or if I can be both statements dependeing on the circumstances… What a mind-twisting exercise! And I have the exact same problem for any kind of MCQ!! It’s never accurate enough!

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