According to a new study by researchers at San Diego State University and the University of Alabama, and published in the January issue of the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, narcissism is at an all-time high among college students. In fact, it's called an epidemic in this March 23 DiscoveryNews.com article. Its highlights:

» Data shows a significant increase in narcissism among Americans in the last 15 years.

» Narcissism is characterized by an unfounded and undeserved sense of entitlement.

» A generation of narcissists could lead to problems in the workplace, as well as risky business and political decisions.

The repercussions are stark, including a future of global financial and credit crises, and increased social and societal problems, because of poor decision making based on a sense of entitlement. (Apparently, social and cultural issues are important economically and otherwise!) How did it get to this point? Theories abound, but one involves . . . 

parents, teachers and the media, which either allow or celebrate overly permissive attitudes toward individualism, and lead to an inflated and unwarranted sense of self-importance.

It's no wonder many college students are ga-ga over our first It's All About ME! president, since so many of them now practice the art of the "I." It may be only a coincidence, or it could be a true reflection of the times, but if you think about it, college kids' favorite toys are iPhones, iTunes, iPads, iPods, iMacs — all useful in aggrandizing self (not to mention appearances meant to draw attention to themselves), with a subsequent stubborn bewilderment when they don't get what they want; and no onedoes self-aggrandizement better than the president. It's Obama's narcissistic world . . . we just live in it.

Are you, or someone you know a narcissist? Take the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, the test used in the study. It's here at USAToday.com.