Autumn 2016 / Leading Edge
Know Thy Selfie

Think you take great pics of yourself? Think again

Selfie photo of a woman holding a coffee cup in the middle of a street

Photo: iStock

You may think the pictures you take of yourself and post to social media are pretty fantastic, but your peers probably don’t think so, according to U of T psychologist Daniel Re, who recently looked at how people rate “selfies.”

“This topic was more lighthearted than the things we usually observe,” says Re, whose research team found that frequent selfie-takers liked their own selfies better than other people who were asked to rate those same pics.

In fact, according to the study, even selfie-takers who claimed they disliked the narcissism they associated with other people’s pictures of themselves still rated their own selfies higher than anyone else rated them.

“That was a real surprise,” Re says. “They seem to be aware that people don’t like seeing a bunch of selfies of others, but when you ask people who hate selfies to rate their own, they rate them really high – almost as if they’d forgotten what they just said.

“People take so many of these pictures, they trick themselves into thinking they’re doing a good job at it,” says Re. “Ironically, by doing so, they may be making themselves look more narcissistic and less attractive.”

Reader Comments

# 1
Posted by Philip Suthons MEd%202000 on September 9th, 2016 @ 12:03 pm

People attend much more to their own photos. So they tend to notice things that others do not. People may also resent the indulgence of others. I don’t always… I like looking at selfies.

# 2
Posted by Ljuba on September 10th, 2016 @ 7:04 am

Great topic, however very disappointing conclusion. I expected more scientific support about selfie taking disorder.

# 3
Posted by Paul Hejja MD MD%207T2 on October 16th, 2016 @ 9:27 am

Selfie sticks can do wonders in the correct hand!

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