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It would be no exaggeration to say that selfies have become quite popular in the past few years. Social networking websites are full of people who love taking selfies and sharing them with the world. While taking a selfie every now and then isn’t such a bad thing, some people develop a habit of taking several pictures of themselves in a single day! If a new study is to be believed, those who are addicted to taking selfies overestimate their attractiveness to a great extent.
This study was conducted researchers at the University of Toronto. 198 college students were selected and split in to two groups. The first group – those who took selfies regularly – consisted of a 100 students. The second group – those who rarely took selfies – consisted of 98 students. Both groups were then asked to take their selfies that could be posted on a social networking websites. In addition to that, researchers also took a picture of each participant. Finally, the students in both the groups were asked to rate how attractive other people would find them in those photos.
Afterwards, 178 independent observers from outside the University were asked to rate the photos for narcissism, likability and attractiveness. The results showed that the outside observers rated all the students less attractive than what the students rated themselves. However, the selfie taker group was off by a wider margin. In addition, the photos taken by the research team were rated higher than the selfies. On the narcissism scale, selfie takers were also rated significantly higher.
The fact remains that the sample size for this study was rather small and a larger group could help to better validate the results. However, this study clearly shows that those who have developed a habit of taking selfies are less attractive, less likable and more narcissistic.
So why exactly do they keep on taking tons of selfies? The answer is simple: it is due to self-favoring bias. This is a phenomenon in which people have a tendency to consider themselves above average on a wide range of positive traits. Furthermore, selfies also give a sense of more control (tons of filters, camera angles, social media platforms etc.), something that people like. The combination of these two is what keeps them going.
Studies like these are indeed fascinating as the shed light on things that are considered normal by today’s standards. The research is published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.