Baby boomers have destroyed every cultural institution in America they have touched: marriage, family, public education, government, financial markets, healthcare, and more, say some critics, whose views may be supported by a Personality and Social Psychology Review study.
“Many argue that one of the most tragic legacies of the baby boomer generation is its narcissistic offspring who now dominate high schools, college campuses, and the world of 20-somethings,” writes Anthony Bradley in World magazine. “Children of boomers, who tend to have been raised under the delusion that the world revolves around them, have recorded the lowest rates of measured empathy in American history, according to new research.
“This is not the typical generational angst over youth coming of age; there is something quantifiable and different about the children of baby boomers. Paul Anderson and Sara Konrath, both professors at the University of Michigan, report “that American college students have been scoring lower and lower on a standardized empathy test over the past three decades.” They add:
“In fact, a research paper published in May in Personality and Social Psychology Review shows that since 1980, scores have dropped 34 percent on ‘perspective taking’ (the ability to imagine others’ points of view) and 48 percent on ‘empathic concern” (the tendency to feel and respond to others’ emotions). The standardized empathy questionnaire included questions like, ‘I often have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me,’ or ‘I sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective.’”