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Patrick Bateman

It’s official: posting loads of selfies is linked to narcissism

*Deletes thirsty pic*

You know that selfie-posting habit you’ve been cultivating on Instagram? Well, apparently it’s linked to some forms of narcissism, according to a new study by Computers in Human Behavior.

The new study aims to understand the relationship between selfies and narcissism, a personality disorder where a person has an inflated sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy for others – mechanisms that are used to mask the individual’s low self-esteem. These behaviours exist on a spectrum, meaning that a person can exhibit narcissistic traits without having a full-blown disorder.

For the study, researchers measured the narcissistic traits and selfie-posting behavior of 470 American and 260 Lebanese students, found a correlation between selfie-posting on Facebook and Instagram and grandiose narcissism, characterised by an overinflated ego and sense of self-importance.

However, displays of other types of narcissism – leadership narcissism, entitlement narcissism, and vulnerable narcissism – were not associated with selfies.

The researchers also found – unshockingly – that students from northeastern America tend to post more selfies than those from midwestern America and Lebanon. Capitalism, go figure.

“Due to the scope of our study, we were only scratching the surface of community-based differences in predictive models for online behaviour. We desperately need more cross-cultural studies that investigate differences in online behaviour and the models that predict online behaviour. Research is needed to explore which elements of a geographic community (e.g., collectivism vs. individualism) might be linked with certain online behaviours,” said Christina Shane-Simpson, who authored the study. 

“The findings from our study also suggest that personality predictors of online behaviour may differ across geographic community, and therefore, we should explore which personality traits are predictive within specific cultural communities.”

Admittedly, the study should be taken with a pinch of salt. Just because you posted a thirsty pic last night doesn’t make you a narcissist, but in the meantime, don’t panic. Another study by Psychology and Aging found that boomers are more narcissistic than millennials, anyway.