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Book Review: 'The Mirror Effect' by Dr. Drew Pinsky

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Dr. Drew Pinsky wants you to know that narcissists are people too.

In “The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America,” Dr. Drew Pinsky and Dr. S. Mark Young look at celebrity narcissism in a new way. The doctors use science.

Dr. Drew and Dr. Young surveyed the revolving door of celebrity guests on Loveline, (the radio program Dr. Drew has co-hosted for 25 years.) These stars (from film, television, and music) were given the Narcissism Personality Inventory test. The results were published in 2006 in The Journal of Research in Personality.

Surprise, surprise. The tests showed that celebrities are significantly more narcissistic than the general population.

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Dr. Drew, a longtime Pasadena resident, stresses that narcissism isn’t simply supersized ego, but supersized ego mixed with low-self esteem. This unfortunate combination often results from childhood trauma, and can lead to years of unchecked acting out (especially for privileged stars, but you knew that.) This books suggests that this understanding is the first step to viewing narcissists as human beings -- ones in need of helpful support.