Study says people who take selfies regularly ‘overestimate’ their attractiveness

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  • Study says that people who take numerous “selfies” tend to overestimate how good looking and likable they are
  • Researchers from the University of Toronto looked at 198 college students, wherein 100 of them are reportedly regular selfie-takers
  • Study says selfie-takers generally over perceive the positive attributes purveyed by their selfies

TORONTO, Canada – A new study says that people who take numerous “selfies” tend to overestimate how good looking and likable they are.

Zahra Mulroy mentioned in her article for The Mirror published on May 20 that researchers from the University of Toronto looked at 198 college students; wherein 100 of them are reportedly regular selfie-takers.

The 198 participants were asked to take a selfie using a smartphone camera and also had a picture taken by another person.

The researchers then asked the participants to rate both photos, the selfie and the one taken by another person, according to how much the participants think their friends like the photo if those will be uploaded to social media.

The same photos were also rated by 178 members of the public according to how attractive and likable and narcissistic they thought the people in the photos were likely to be.

After collecting the responses, the researchers found out that regular selfie-takers and the non-selfie-takers thought they would be seen as more attractive and more likable in their photos as compared to how they were actually seen by the independent raters.

However, the selfie-takers overestimated themselves significantly more as compared to the other group and also think that they look better in the selfies than in the photos taken by other people.

An article by Adam Boult for The Telegraph said that the regular selfie-takers were also judged as looking “significantly more narcissistic” as compared to the non-selfie-takers group.

“Selfie-takers generally over perceived the positive attributes purveyed by their selfies,” said researchers.

“Here, we found that selfie-takers believed their selfies to look more attractive and likable than photos of them taken by other people. In reality, though, external raters actually perceived the targets’ selfies to look less attractive and less likable than the photos taken by others (as well as more narcissistic),” the researchers added.

The researchers explained that the “self-favoring bias” felt by selfie-takers did not extend to non-selfie-takers.

The study suggests that the self-enhancing misperceptions may support selfie-takers’ positive evaluations of their selfies, wherein there is a notable bias in self-perception.

The study was led by Daniel Re of the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology and was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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