While we all know that there are signs that we can look for when it comes to whether or not someone is psychopathic or narcissistic, sometimes we overlook the small things. That being said, this one is something that might be harder to pin down than you’d expect it to be.
According to a study from back in roughly 2015, it seems narcissists and psychopathic people might be more likely to post selfies showing off and making an effort to do/look their best in them. That being said, when it came to psychopathic men they were much less likely to overdo their editing when compared to people who did not rate as high on the psychopathic scale. I know, this might sound a bit odd or might not be something you want to think about but stay with me.
The abstract of this as posted by Science Direct under the title ‘The Dark Triad and trait self-objectification as predictors of men’s use and self-presentation behaviors on social networking sites’ goes as follows:
An online survey of a nationally representative sample of U.S. men aged 18–40 assessed trait predictors of social networking site use as well as two forms of visual self-presentation: editing one’s image in photographs posted on social networking sites (SNSs) and posting “selfies,” or pictures users take of themselves. We examined the Dark Triad (i.e., narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) and trait self-objectification as predictors. Self-objectification and narcissism predicted time spent on SNSs. Narcissism and psychopathy predicted the number of selfies posted, whereas narcissism and self-objectification predicted editing photographs of oneself posted on SNSs. We discuss selective self-presentation processes on social media and how these traits may influence interpersonal relationship development in computer-mediated communication.
Basically, narcissism and psychopathy through these findings does somewhat predict the number of selfies posted on social networking sites. While this is something we can’t consider as a sign for every single person if someone is showing other signs and posting a lot of selfies perhaps it should be noted as some kind of red flag? I, for one, think that is the best way to break things down all in all.
Psychology Today wrote as follows about these findings:
But these results also show that men who view their bodies as objects are more likely to edit their photos. Self-objectification tends to be associated with low self-esteem8—quite the opposite of narcissism, which is correlated with high self-esteem.9 But this is consistent with other findings that both narcissism and low self-esteem are related to greater Facebook use.10 It is also important to note that those high on self-objectification didn’t post more selfies—they were just more conscious about their appearance in the ones that they did post. Given the greater self-objectification tendencies of women, it would be interesting to examine these questions in a female sample as well.1
But before you start accusing all your selfie-posting Facebook friends of being self-obsessed narcissists and psychopaths, realize that these correlations (though statistically significant) were relatively small, and the sample studied didn’t include women.
I guess at the end of the day, it depends on how you look at things whether or not you think there is some kind of true link present. What do you think about all of this? I believe I am on the fence in a lot of ways.