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Selfie posters are seen as less likable, study finds

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PULLMAN, Wash. (WTNH) — Psychologists at Washington State University are telling people to check their selfie before they “wreck their selfie.”

While the phrase may be poking fun at the 21st century trend, experts said many social media users are staring to dis the selfie.

According to a new study, social media see self photograph and make a snap judgment about the poster’s personality.

Researchers found that frequent selfie-takers are “almost universally viewed as less likable, less successful, more insecure, and less open to new experiences than those who typically share photos of themselves taken by other people.”

Basically, selfie lovers aren’t feeling the love from others.

“Even when two feeds had similar content, such as depictions of achievement or travel, feelings about the person who posted selfies were negative and feelings about the person who posted posies were positive,” said Chris Barry, WSU professor of psychology and lead author of the study, during an interview. “It shows there are certain visual cues, independent of context, that elicit either a positive or negative response on social media.”

Prior to the study, Barry studied the potential link between selfies and narcissism. However, his results came back inconclusive.

“We just weren’t finding anything,” Barry said. “That got us thinking that while posts on social media might not be indicative of the poster’s personality, other people might think they are. So, we decided to design another study to investigate.”  

The study focused on two groups of college students. The first group, which consisted of 30 undergraduates from a public university in the southern United States, filled out a personality questionnaire and gave researchers permission to analyze their 30 most recent Instagram posts. 

The second group, 119 undergraduates from a university in the northwestern United States, then rated the Instagram profiles based on 13 attributes including self-absorption, low self-esteem, success, and extraversion.

Experts found that users who posted more photos taken by someone else, rather than selfies, were considered more adventurous, more outgoing, less lonely, more dependable, more successful, more self-confident, and better potential friends. 

While accounts that posted more selfies received an overwhelmingly negative review.

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