Selfies - A window into the soul?

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Not really, but they can tell you something about the person who took them. Lin Qiu and colleagues wondered just what a selfie tells us about the person who took the picture. Using the Big Five Personality trait inventory and coding selfies from a social media site for various characteristics, they found out that selfies tell us a little more about the photographer than we might like.

When comparing characteristics with self-reports on the personality inventory, there associations between image components and agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. The researchers were also curious to know if strangers might be able to pick out these personality traits as well. Although individuals might not be so good at determining personality traits of individual people, they seemed to be better at predicting personality traits as a group. The one trait that seemed to have some element of strong agreement in predictability was openness.

So the next time you take the selfie and post it to your favorite social media site, ask yourself: "What am I telling the world about me?"

Here is the link to the study: What does your selfie say about you?

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About the Author
Dr. Yamazaki has been involved in adult education since the mid-1980's. She has developed technology-based education for the Air Force, commercial industry, and for higher education. She is certified in instruction systems design. She has taught courses for the Air Force and at community college, college, and university institutions. She was awarded the teaching excellence award at the US Air Force Academy as an instructor for the behavioral sciences. In her work with Macmillan Higher Education, she works with educators and editorial to consult on the development of educational products, services, and experiences for higher education.