Selfie-takers often overestimate their attractiveness, study finds

By Shawn Knight · 25 replies
May 20, 2016
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  1. People that regularly snap selfies often like to post said photos to social media or send to their friends but a new study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science points to multiple underlying issues.

    According to the study, regularly selfie snappers tend to overestimate their attractiveness and likability to a greater extent. What’s more, research shows that independent observers view selfie fiends as being more narcissistic compared with non-selfie takers. For some of you, this revelation probably won’t come as much of a surprise.

    As PsyPost points out, selfie-taking may be a way for people to enhance a phenomenon known as “self-favoring bias” in which people have a tendency to perceive themselves as being better than average with regard to a wide range of positive traits. Evidence also suggests that self-favoring bias is most prominent in situations in which the person has a high level of personal control, like on their social media accounts.

    In the study, psychologists at the University of Toronto asked 198 college students – 100 of which identified as regular selfie-takers and the other saying they rarely if ever snapped selfies – to take a selfie using a smartphone. The participants also had their photo taken by one of the people conducting the study. The images were then shown to 178 independent raters on the Internet who were asked to rate the images for attractiveness, liability and narcissism.

    Both groups of participants showed signs of self-favoring bias by thinking they would be seen as more attractive and likeable in their photos than what the independent raters reported. Regular selfie-takers, however, overestimated themselves significantly more, the study found. Raters also thought the regular selfie-takers looked more narcissistic.

    Image courtesy Patrik Nygren, Flickr

    Permalink to story.

  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    --> Selfie-takers overestimate their attractiveness
    --> Uses feature image of a solid 7.5 taking a selfie

    A+, bro.
    H3llion and TheDreams like this.
  3. If I was rating the pictures I would down rate every selfie in any case.
    Ziffel and Adhmuz like this.
  4. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    "For some of you, this revelation probably won’t come as much of a surprise."

    Tell me something I didn't already know... I'm sure there's a little more science behind this modern phenomena but I could care less, you fall into two crowds in my opinion, either you adore taking selfies of yourself because your a narcissistic tw@t or you think of the idea as simply appalling and are more in the normal range.
    Ziffel and LiveResistance like this.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    There is a third possibility: You're an e-celeb of some calibre and make money off of those selfies.

    IMO, the only legitimate reason for such photos.
  6. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,376   +286

    There is a whole ton of Science behind that *rolls eyes*. Taking a picture, A PICTURE.

    Yeah taking these "selfies" everyday all day might be little ridiculous but should I be asking someone to take picture of me, by myself, everytime I wanna send a picture over to someone? Cmon lads, lets not be so behind in the modern world.

    What's next people will get their pants in a twist over?
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,526

    Well first, who pays people to do s**t studies like this? What is it, bored anthropologists lacking a "truly primitive culture" to study?

    This "selfie" behaviour is far removed from a new phenomenon. It's simply an internet adaptation / outgrowth of the snottiest chick in high school staring into her makeup mirror at every available opportunity. What she used to take so much delight in seeing only by herself, she now has the technological means to inflict on everyone else on the web.

    And guys that involve themselves with this nonsense, can most likely blame it on that big ole ego and a six pack.
    SalaSSin likes this.
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    They needed an expensive study and time wasting to determine this? I could've told them the results for nothing.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,526

    The "studying behaviour", is typical in the pseudo intellectual. It fills a need to carve out a specific niche in societal hierarchy, and make yourself seem indispensable for that niche. After a seemingly necessary income producing task has been created, it frees said creator up from any task involving manual labor which might actually be of some use to the society at large. In other, more biologically based ecosystems, these individuals would be categorized as "parasites", or "drones".

    Individuals in the social entitlement receiving sector of the welfare have similar, but biologically based tactic for generating income and avoiding employment altogether. The object there is to generate as many illegitimate children in a short a period as possible, and render yourself unavailable for any task other than to tend to those children.

    This is colloquially known as, "I dun gotz me deeze kidz syndrome".

    This most appropriate explanation of the pointless studying of the patently obvious paradigm in operation, is basically sending out click w***es to document the behaviour of camera w***rs.
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  10. Tribalcheetah

    Tribalcheetah TS Rookie

    These comments are far more entertaining than the post itself.
  11. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    I'll take '"Scientists" in need of relevancy' for $100, Johnny.
  12. emmzo

    emmzo TS Booster Posts: 142   +37

    Follow up study: are people who don`t take selfies self conscious about their appearance?
    davislane1 likes this.
  13. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Such a study would doubtless yield valuable insights into the nature of social anxiety and how it impacts a subject's standing in the sociosexual marketplace, setting the stage for the study of studies:

    Pair bonding: Is it love or economics?
    emmzo likes this.
  14. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    More the science of how people start to slowly think they look better the more selfies they take, pictures are pictures, fine, however the trend isn't about just taking pictures (that was a whole other post a couple days ago), it was about people overrating themselves looks wise in their own selfies. Thus slowly believing themselves to be more attractive than they actually are, granted being confident in one's appearance isn't a horrible thing, but to the point where you feel the need to be taking these selfies and posting them to social media in an effort to draw more attention to yourself is just crazy.

    If that can really be a legitimate form of making money than fine, but I would think it's more of a way to self promote for said e-celebs, which in itself isn't a horrible thing either I suppose. Do they actually get paid to take selfies? Looks like the paparazzi is going to be put out of business in that case.
  15. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,329   +1,975

    Selfies ..... what a gas!
  16. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    It generates subscriptions (instagram/youtube) and thus establishes sales leads.

    I know an instagram girl, total babe, who gets compensation for her images as well.
  17. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Posts: 843   +38

    How about a new study. "People who complain about studies show to have inferiority complex." Seriously. What do I do when I see a selfie? I keep scrolling and don't even think twice about it. I don't sit behind my computer thinking "you're not as attractive as you think you are" (which is stupid anyway because not everybody see attractiveness the same and it's kind of shallow to judge anyway) or "well somebody is narcissistic." Doing so would make me a judgmental pr*ck which in the end doesn't make me any better than them. I just keep scrolling. I let you be you and I'll be me. The selfie thing is just not for me. But that doesn't give me any right to judge you for liking it. We live in a society where people feel like they always have to judge others, so really, we're all the same. None of us are perfect. None of us are better than anyone else. Even I'm a judgmental pr*ck for judging those who judge selfie takers. So let's all stop trying to be "holier than thou" eh?
    H3llion likes this.
  18. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,376   +286

    Although, it's definitely true. I mean, I have seen few girls who look like solid 8s in their selfies but are like half that without. ****ing angels and filters ...
  19. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    It was only a matter of time before someone dropped an irony bomb in this thread.
    Adhmuz likes this.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,526

    OK, you can go back in your cave now, Grumpy Bear..

    "Judge not lest ye be judged". Thank you for reinterpreting the Bible for us. I so obviously haven't touched it lest I burn my fingers, in many, many, years.

    BTW, did you ever get your 400 points for being here since the beginning of time?
    I simply picture all women pregnant, with their heads shaved...:eek: That takes out the guesswork......

    Take for example, this before and after study of supermodel / action heroine Mila Jovovich:
    I call the next shot, "of growing concern":

    I think this sums it up nicely.......:eek::oops:.
  21. PigSkinYtBoy

    PigSkinYtBoy TS Rookie

    Pasty as bird poo and has no lips. 4.5 at best.
  22. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    "I dun gotz me deeze kidz syndrome".
    I couldn't have said it better Skipper.
  23. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    4.5... Are you serious?

    Alright. Show me us a 7.
  24. Frixx

    Frixx TS Rookie

    Who would have ever thought that narcissists would overestimate anything about themselves.
  25. entrycoupling

    entrycoupling TS Enthusiast Posts: 48

    This may be true for some, but not all. Not that I take selfies a lot. That doesn't mean that I'm not confident either.

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