Want to Be Less Narcissistic? Maybe Think About Your Selfies, if You’re a Self-Publicist

Two People Together Taking a Selfie

In an issue of Personality and Individual Differences, there was a study published, which had examined the correlation “between selfie-posting, photo-editing, and personality”, as mentioned in an article by Gwendolyn on Psychology Today.

Person Taking Selfie in Front of Waterfall
Photo by Djamal Akhmad Fahmi on Unsplash

In the study, the researchers (Fox and Rooney) got their data from 1,000 men between the ages of 18 and 40 years old and from across the nation. After all of the participants completed the questionnaires assessing the “Dark Triad” (narcissism, psychopathy, and machiavellianism) and self-objectification.

Through the results, Fox and Rooney found that narcissism is associated with more time on social-networking sites and with more photo-editing. When it came to selfies, posting so many of them is related to higher narcissism and psychopathy. As the study suggests, and Seidman says in her article, “narcissists are more likely to show off with selfies and make extra effort to look their best in these photos.”

Man Taking a Selfie in a Car
Photo by Tookapic from Pexels

YourTango also talks about 12 types of selfies that show narcissism here, like pet selfies, gym selfies, and driving selfies.

While this may be true for some people, a study led by Brigham Young University researchers has found that people take selfies for one of three main reasons: they are taking selfies as communicators, as autobiographers, or as as publicists. Out of the three main reasons, the only one that is associated with narcissism, as you may guess, is publicists.

Two Friends Taking a Selfie While Volunteering
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

As Patrick Allan wrote in his article on LifeHacker, those who take selfies as “‘communicators’ take selfies to engage families, friends, and followers.” Those who identify as autobiographers take selfies in order to “record key events in their lives and preserve significant memories.”

On the other hand, for those trying to self-publicize, “researchers suggest narcissism can be a thing.” It’s because this group of people enjoys taking pictures of themselves and sharing them with others in the best way possible. They want others to be amazed when looking at the pictures.

Since most people do not intend to show off their selfies or use them as a means to find self-importance, the last group is the smallest of the three, and selfies do not equate to narcissism.

Selfies or no selfies? Selfies for what? You decide. 😉

Cover Photo: Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst