New study shows that men who usually post and/or edit selfies score high in anti-social behavior such as narcissism and psychopathy. Researchers also found that male selfie-fans have underlying insecurity issues and are prone to self-objectification just like women do.
Additionally, men who use to edit their selfie before posting them on social media platforms scored high both in self-objectification and narcissism. Editing includes cropping the images or simply adding filters.
Researchers said that their findings contradicted previous social belief that men wouldn’t even bother editing their selfies. In fact, narcissistic men put a lot of effort into editing their personal photos.
Study participants who scored high in psychopathy, however, did not edit their selfies.
“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,”
Jesse Fox, lead author of the study, said that it was no surprise that men who post a lot of selfies and spend time editing them would score higher in narcissistic behavior. However, the study is the first to actually confirm that hypothesis.
Men prone to take more selfies are also susceptible to self-objectification, study shows. Self-objectification means somebody values themselves for their physical looks, rather than other positive traits.
Mrs. Fox said that men involved in the study who edited their selfies had high scores in self-objectification. However, this behavior is representative for women and gay men, so it has been rarely studied in heterosexual men.
Researchers also said that self-objectification usually leads to depression and bulimia in women. They also linked the growing use of social media sites to people becoming more concerned about how they look. These people usually post selfies to get social recognition and artificially build their self-esteem by positive feedback and likes.
However, this toxic method of obtaining self-esteem through external validation is a self-reinforcing cycle. People usually tend to post selfies to get positive comments which make them post more selfies that trigger more feedback which encourages them to post even more selfies. This pattern of behavior leads to even more self-objectification, researchers concluded.
The study involved 800 men aged 18 to 40 who completed an on-line survey about their selfie posting behavior on social media. The findings were published online in “Personality and Individual Differences”.
As a follow-up study, researchers organized a similar survey for women. The results showed that women who usually post selfies also scored high in narcissistic and psychopathic behavior.
However, study authors said that all their study participants scored within the socially accepted range of such behaviors. No one represented a psychiatric case.
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