We’re hiding vanity and narcissism underneath all those filters apparently, guys
Take the odd selfie? You ain’t that cute, hun. We all aren’t, according to a new study, which says people who take selfies are likely to overestimate how attractive they are.
We all do the selfie damage control: filling the camera roll with 100 front-camera pics, only marginal differences between them all. The subtle chin tilts, bedroom lighting – only one makes the cut. It’s all part of loving ourselves right? Or are we hiding something else underneath the Valencia filter? Well research published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal concluded that we’re more likely to be vain and narcissistic. Whether that’s a bad thing, we don’t really know.
198 college students took part in the experiment at The University of Toronto: 100 participants said they loved taking photos of themselves, and the other 98 said they rarely took any. The study involved students taking a selfie and then having a pic taken by another participant. Afterwards, they were all asked to rate the images.
The pics were them shown to the public, who also judged people in the photos by level of attractiveness, how likeable and narcissistic they seemed.
Both groups in the experiment agreed they looked better in photos they’d taken themselves, but self-confessed self-lovers rated their attractiveness and likeability much higher.
Research showed that both groups were as into themselves as each other, but the public saw the selfie-obsessed as “significantly more narcissistic”, leading to a “self-favouring” bias. Huh. Public opinion also gave preference to the photos taken by a third party.
Questioning the results, researchers concluded that as selfie-taking involves a lot of outtakes and various angles to reach a socially-acceptable number of likes, we may have a distorted view of how attractive we actually are IRL.
Maybe it’s time to turn the front-facing camera off and hand it to a pal? Or not.