Wednesday, 2 September 2015

What do selfies say about personality?

In 2014, The Pew Research Centre  that more than 1 Million American 18-34 year-olds had shared selfies. Rates declined for older users.

But what do taking selfies and the types taken say about personality type?

A recent study by Qiu, L., Lu, J., Yang, S., Qu, W., & Zhu, T. (2015). What does your selfie say about you? published in Computers in Human Behavior, 52, 443-449 DOI:
summarised in the BPS Digest surveyed over a 100 Sina Weibo users examining the backgrounds, images and poses to consider whether selfies can provide insight into extroversion, introversion and narcissm.Ultimately it found that viewers of the photographs were not able to make firm opinions about personality types.

Rather interesting Fox, J., & Rooney, M. C. (2015). The Dark Triad and trait self-objectification as predictors of men’s use and self-presentation behaviors on social networking sites. published in  Personality & Individual Differences, 76, 161-165. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2014.12.017. Summarised in Psychology Today.
(LSE Link to journal.) examined men who post and edit selfies online and found high percentage  had  narcissistic and self-obsession personality traits.
Other recent research on photosharing amongst acquaintances on Facebook  from David Houghton et al (2013). found that it could have a negative impact on relationships
Likewise a recent study from Oregon State University found that women who shared revealing photographs of themselves online were viewed negatively by their peers.
For some more suggested academic resources on the psychology of selfies. See our 2014 posting.


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