It turns out we may have the nerds and geeks of the world all wrong.
New research could alter everything you’ve thought about geeks since junior high. ‘Cause it turns out they actually may be more confident than you are (and living a better life, too).
In an attempt to determine the common traits that characterize geek culture, researchers from the University of Georgia surveyed nearly 2,500 students of all personality types.
They found that the students who exhibited the highest levels of nerdiness (albeit in a stereotypical sense) were likely to have an elevated sense of narcissism. Those students who engaged in traditional “geeky” activities like Comic-Con, science fiction, or cosplay were more likely to be self-centered compared to non-geeks.
Of course, there needed to be some sort of scale to measure levels of geekiness. The researchers implemented a ‘Geek Culture Engagement Scale’ to assess how often the participants engaged in geeky activities, while the ‘Geek Identity Scale,’ measured the number of geeky things they were interested in.
Participants were scored on a scale of one to five, based on how often they played Dungeons and Dragons, engaged in role playing games, and how much they liked things like video games, robotics, and movies like Star Wars.
Lead researcher Jessica McCain defined ‘geek culture’ as “A subculture of enthusiasts that is traditionally associated with obscure media like Japanese animation, science fictions, and video games.”
According to the findings, those students who scored high on both scales were more likely to have an inflated sense of self. Not only that, the “geeks” displayed higher degrees of extraversion, open-mindedness, and general well-being.
Apparently, all that teasing in grade school really did make them stronger.