Are People Who Take Lots of Selfies Really Narcissists?
Despite the celebrity examples given above, lead author Steven Holiday told Health that selfie types should, ideally, be self-defined. “They speak to your own motivation—so I can’t just look at someone’s Instagram and know that they’re a communicator,” says Holiday, who’s now a PhD student at Texas Tech University. “It’s really about why they’re posting selfies, which may or may not be obvious from their profile.”
And while not everyone will fit neatly into one of these three boxes, Holiday says that reflecting on what motivates you to snap selfies can help you learn more about yourself.
“It’s good to know that not everyone who posts pictures of themselves is a narcissist,” he says. (In fact, self-publicist was the smallest of the three groups identified in the study.) “And it was interesting to identify this weird and complicated mix of people who wanted to preserve things for themselves but also wanted to communicate or get feedback and validation.”