Call it their own Snopes.com sleuthing. But hearing again and again that narcissistic self-absorption and perfectionistic striving fuel the current boom in cosmetic surgery, researchers at Canada's Dalhousie University decided to poke around a bit in the assumptions. To do so, they recruited 305 undergraduate women, and had each one complete tried-and-true diagnostic questionnaires returning measures of narcissism and perfectionism, along with one measuring interest in cosmetic surgery.
The researchers discovered that neither narcissism nor perfectionism predicted interest in cosmetic surgery. However, women scoring high on measures for both diagnoses showed the strongest interest in cosmetic surgery of any women in the study.
The implications of this study may be profound—for plastic surgeons. The authors speculate that cosmetic surgeons' patients may be grandiose and demanding to a fault—and, by diagnosis, "nearly impossible to satisfy," no matter how objectively successful their cosmetic surgery was.