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‘Are selfies selfish?’: a study of selfie-engaging behaviours and personality factors as potential predictors of these behaviours

Mullen-Cooper, Xavier (2014) ‘Are selfies selfish?’: a study of selfie-engaging behaviours and personality factors as potential predictors of these behaviours. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

A ‘selfie’ is photography taken of oneself usually with a smart phone. The prevalence and use of the selfie has become a phenomenon in recent years with the rise of social media sites such as Instagram. Previous research has linked social media with younger ‘digital natives’ and psychological constructs, in particular narcissism. Some research has highlighted how theories of openness and identity can also be applied to the study of social media behaviours. This prior study into other SNSs has been used as the basis for this research into selfie-engaging behaviours and the use of Instagram. Responses from participants (N = 109) were measured on four personality questionnaires assessing: narcissism, public-self-consciousness, self-disclosure and self-acceptance. Details of their selfie engagement and the frequency were also questioned. Pearson’s correlation was calculated showed negative correlations between age and the existence of narcissism and self-acceptance. Independent t¬-Tests indicated participants admitting to taking selfies as likely scoring lower for self-acceptance and those who uploaded selfies to Instagram were likely to score higher for narcissism. Despite their predictive nature, no definitive predictor for selfie-engaging behaviours could be attained. Further research needs to use more comprehensive sampling methods for greater generalisability of findings and stricter reliability testing.

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