In news that comes as a surprise to no one, a study by researchers from Ohio State University in the US has shown that selfie-loving men are more likely to show signs of psychopathy and narcissism than the rest of the population.
The team, led by communications researcher Jesse Fox, looked at the social media behaviour of 800 men in the US aged between 18 and 40 - in particular, they examined how many selfies they take, and how long they spend editing them.
They also asked the men to fill out a questionnaire that measured anti-social behaviours, such as narcissism, psychopathy, and self-objectification, which measures how much people prioritise their appearance.
The results showed that the dudes who posted a lot of selfies and spent a long time editing them first scored high for narcissism and self-objectification, whereas the men who simply posted their selfies without editing them showed signs of psychopathy.
“That makes sense because psychopathy is characterised by impulsivity. They are going to snap the photos and put them online right away,” said Fox in a press release. “They want to see themselves. They don’t want to spend time editing."
And overall, the amount of time men spent on social networking sites (SNSs) was linked to higher scores in self-objectification and narcism traits. The results have been published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
“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,” said Fox in the release.
But, don’t worry too much if you’re a selfie loving male (or dating one) - the research also showed that the scores, although higher than usual, were all within the normal range and didn’t reflect a psychological disorder.
In fact, they could even be a good thing when it comes to finding a mate. The authors write in the paper:
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” (Walther, Van Der Heide, Kim, Westerman, & Tong, 2008). Thus, when psychopathic men appear reckless or impulsive on SNSs, it may actually help attract mates.
The team is now looking on conducting a follow-up study on women in order to further investigate how the way we present ourselves online is linked to our personality.
In the meantime, it’s something worth taking into account next time you’re deciding which guys to swipe right on when you’re browsing Tinder. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.