Do You Judge People Who Love To Take Selfies? Maybe, You Should Examine Yourself

If there's one thing about me that I'm sure many of my friends and readers know by now, it would have to be the fact that I love to take selfies.

I take selfies as soon as I arrive at the beach.

I snap photos of myself in front of the mirror when I'm in the fitting room trying clothes on.

And I often do this upon settling in my hotel room when traveling.

So why do I take selfies? Well, often it's because I just want to capture a moment - with me in it - and I don't want to bother another person to take the photo for me. Or in the case of the 'mirfies' (selfies in front of the mirror) in the fitting room, I do it because I usually send the shots to my fashion forward friends on Facebook and ask for their advice on whether I should make the purchase or choose another item. It's often just as simple as that.

That's why I felt a bit bothered when I saw the findings of this recent research conducted by The Ohio State University students, which - according to the authors - confirm that guys who like to take selfies are more narcissitic, more anti-social, and are more prone to psychopathy and self-objectification. Heavy, eh?

Narcissism is marked by a belief that you’re smarter, more attractive and better than others, but with some underlying insecurity. Psychopathy involves a lack of empathy and regard for others and a tendency toward impulsive behavior.

The sample included 800 men from age 18 to 40 who completed an online survey asking about their photo posting behavior on social media. The participants also completed standard questionnaires for anti-social behaviors and for self-objectification. (This study doesn't include women because the data set, which Jesse Fox - the lead author of the study - received from a magazine, did not have comparable data for women.)

In addition to asking how often they posted photos, the survey inquired about whether the men edited their photos before posting, including cropping photos, using filters and using picture-editing software.

“Most people don’t think that men even do that sort of thing, but they definitely do,” Fox said.

Results showed that posting more photos was related to narcissism and psychopathy, but psychopathy was not related to editing photos.

“That makes sense because psychopathy is characterized by impulsivity. They are going to snap the photos and put them online right away. They want to see themselves. They don’t want to spend time editing,” she said.

[...] Self-objectification involves valuing yourself mainly for your appearance, rather than for other positive traits.

“We know that self-objectification leads to a lot of terrible things, like depression and eating disorders in women,” Fox said.


News about this research have already gone viral on various social networking sites and needless to say, many netizens are now using it judge and make fun of their guy friends who enjoy posting selfies online. One of my friends, for example, sent me a message on Facebook yesterday containing a link to this story with the note, "Hey Mac, you're a psychopath and a narcissist. A research in the US has just confirmed it."

Well, I think the way he processed the whole thing is narrow-minded but really - according to another research - his presumptions and perceptions about me based alone on the fact that I love to take selfies say more about himself than anything else.

"Your perceptions of others reveal so much about your own personality," says Dustin Wood, assistant professor of psychology at Wake Forest and lead author of the study, about his findings. By asking study participants to each rate positive and negative characteristics of just three people, the researchers were able to find out important information about the rater's well-being, mental health, social attitudes and how they were judged by others.

The study appears in the July issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Peter Harms at the University of Nebraska and Simine Vazire of Washington University in St. Louis co-authored the study.

The researchers found a person's tendency to describe others in positive terms is an important indicator of the positivity of the person's own personality traits. They discovered particularly strong associations between positively judging others and how enthusiastic, happy, kind-hearted, courteous, emotionally stable and capable the person describes oneself and is described by others.

"Seeing others positively reveals our own positive traits," Wood says.

The study also found that how positively you see other people shows how satisfied you are with your own life, and how much you are liked by others.

In contrast, negative perceptions of others are linked to higher levels of narcissism and antisocial behavior. "A huge suite of negative personality traits are associated with viewing others negatively," Wood says. "The simple tendency to see people negatively indicates a greater likelihood of depression and various personality disorders." Given that negative perceptions of others may underlie several personality disorders, finding techniques to get people to see others more positively could promote the cessation of behavior patterns associated with several different personality disorders simultaneously, Wood says.


I'm not really sure which of the two research findings hold more value and truth to them but I definitely like the one by University of Nebraska and Washington University more. But that's just me. You see, I'm not really the type of guy who would assume that another dude is narcissistic or psychopathic simply because he likes posting photos of himself on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Heck, maybe, he's just like me.