Men, don't take selfies – you look narcissistic and psychopathic

Sarah Spickernell
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The selfie stick: a recent invention for the selfie-mad (Source: Getty)
You're a fine looking man and you're contemplating putting another selfie online.
You know it's going to look self-involved (especially with the bedroom behind you), but you look too darned good to deprive all your Facebook friends of such a vision.
This is the attitude currently tainting the reputation of hard-working, reputable men nationwide, and it turns out more of them are doing it than we realise.
"Most people don't think that men even do that sort of thing, but they definitely do," said Jesse Fox, a professor at The Ohio State University.
She asked 800 men, aged between 18 and 54, about their photo posting on social media, and then measured how narcissistic and psychopathic they seemed.
It turned out that the more selfies men posted on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the more antisocial they appeared. Not just because they were friendless in the photos, but because it made them look narcissistic.
Posting a larger number of selfies also made them look like a psychopath, according to Fox.
"The more interesting finding is that they also score higher on this other anti-social personality trait, psychopathy," she explained.
And what do narcissism and psychopathy mean in this context, exactly? Narcissism is marked by a belief that you're smarter, more attractive and better than others, but with some underlying insecurity. Psychopathy, meanwhile, involves a lack of empathy and regard for others and a tendency toward impulsive behaviour.
It's hardly surprising, but, as Fox pointed out, it's the first time this has been proven: “This is the first time it has actually been confirmed in a study," she said.


The good news is that turning it monochrome or adjusting the exposure will make you look like less of a psychopathic narcissist.
"That makes sense because psychopathy is characterized by impulsivity,” says Fox. “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," Fox says.


Also, being a compulsive selfie poster doesn't mean you are definitely a psychopath – it is simply a case of psychopaths being more likely to post selfies.
In the case of this experiment, the men in the study all scored within the normal range of behaviour – but with higher than average levels of these anti-social traits.


Is the same trend found among women who take selfies? According to Fox, the answer is yes.
Women weren't included in this particular study, but Fox is conducting follow-up work that suggests the same correlation among them – the more selfies the post, the more narcissistic and psychopathic they are.

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