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Taking Selfies Makes You Think You're Hotter Than You Really Are, Says Science

Taking selfies can make you appear more narcissistic and give you a self-inflated view of yourself. Sure, that seems self-evident, but now we've got the research to back it up.

by Lauren Messman
May 20 2016, 4:06pm

Photo via Flickr user Patrick Nygren

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Selfies have fully dominated our modern world. They are with us on Friday nights at the bar, and while we're traveling the world, and during life's most precious moments, and sometimes used in lieu of a job interview. But all this selfie-shotting has fundamentally changed the way people see you and how we see ourselves, according to new research.

A study from the University of Toronto says that taking selfies can make you appear more narcissistic to those around you and give you a self-inflated view of yourself. Sure, that seems kind of self-evident, but now we've got the science to back it up.

For the study, researchers got 198 participates—100 of whom considered themselves "regular selfie-takers"—to take a selfie as well as just a regular old-fashioned portrait and rate how attractive and likable they thought their friends would think each was, if uploaded to social media. Then researchers had people from the public check out the participants' photos and rate them as to how attractive, likable, and narcissistic they thought each subject appeared.

Not only did most participants think they looked much better in their photos than the public did—ouch—the independent raters generally liked the portraits better than the selfies, and thought the selfie enthusiasts came across significantly more narcissistic in their selfies than everyone else.

The study suggests that taking selfies is basically just a way of showing people what you want them to see, but not necessarily what the rest of the world sees, which can come off as narcissistic and eventually make you think you're hotter than you think you are. But hey, what's wrong with a little self-love? This is Masturbation Month, after all.