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Let's talk about me. I think this is what happens when you grow up getting trophies just for showing up: New research suggests that young people are so hooked on praise that they crave a boost to their self-esteem over most anything else. More than sex, money, or food.

"It wouldn't be correct to say that the study participants were addicted to self-esteem," lead author Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University in Columbus, told USA Today. "But they were closer to being addicted to self-esteem than they were to being addicted to any other activity we studied."

The study, published online in the Journal of Personality, involved 282 university students who were given questionnaires asking them to rank the things they love. While they love sex, partying and money, they loved getting a compliment more.

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While many observers will decry this as more evidence of rampant narcissism, is it really so bad to crave a compliment more than a chocolate bar or a martini?

As potential addictions go, this one seems positively wholesome. And non-fattening.

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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