Now that ‘selfie’ is a word, it can be taken more seriously, or so it seems. Researchers of a new study analysing the phenomenon of men posting several selfies online found that the latter scored higher levels of narcissism and psychopathy. Wait till you hear everything: this might not be such a bad thing after all.
What’s it about selfies that the majority of us seem to be succumbing to their charm? Is it not in itself an indication of the person’s own self-appreciation, and more? Now, more specifically, what is it about those males who love to take selfies? According to the study, they are more likely to exhibit signs of narcissism and psychopathy than those men not into the selfie culture.
For the purpose of the study, the social media behaviour of 800 American men was put under scrutiny. Their selfie-posting rate was determined: how many selfies they would take, and how much time would they spend editing them would be noted. The men were also requested to fill in questionnaires to glean data about their narcissism levels, their tendency to psychopathy and self-objectification, the latter helping to put into perspective the extent to which they would prioritise their very appearances.
From these results, the authors found that those men posting many selfies after spending much time editing them scored higher for narcissism and self-objectification than those who only posted selfies without editing them; however, the latter showed more signs of psychopathy.
Interpreting the results and the contrast between the groups, the lead author stated: “That makes sense because psychopathy is characterised 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.”
Furthermore, the time spent on social media was correlated with self-objectification and narcism traits; it seems that these variables are linked.
“It’s not surprising that men who post a lot of selfies and spend more time editing them are more narcissistic, but this is the first time it has actually been confirmed in a study,” added the lead researcher.
Should this be a matter of worry? The researchers reassured that the scores fell within the normal range. They were indeed higher than usual, but still restricted to the normal limits. No disorder was associated with the high scores. Rather, the researchers made it sound like a good thing: “This lack of filtering and impulsivity in SNS posting may benefit some psychopathic men, however. One study found that male users who had SNS posts that alluded to excessive drinking and promiscuous behaviour were perceived as more attractive than male users with posts identifying them as “the life of the party””.