Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder with severe consequences in ethical behavior — but in social psychology, the trait is seen on a continuum, explains narcissism researcher Emily Bianchi, PhD, of Emory’s Goizueta Business School, who was not involved in the study.

‘You’re either more or less narcissistic,’ Bianchi tells Yahoo Health. In fact, narcissism may even be a normal part of growing up — so long as it doesn’t carry on through adulthood.

There’s pretty good evidence that narcissism decreases with age, she says. One reason: Adversity can temper narcissism. ‘As we get older, we experience more trying times. As you invest in romantic relationships, children, or a career, the demands of life don’t allow you to be as self-focused,’ she says.

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We offer insights from Emory University's Goizueta Business School. is an extension of a long-standing print publication of the same name.