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Psychology: What does a "perfect selfie" look like?


Scientists are investigating what the perfect selfie looks like
Almost every smartphone owner has already taken a selfie. These are often also distributed via social networks such as Facebook or Instagram. Psychologists at the Otto Friedrich University in Bamberg have now investigated how to look particularly attractive or slim on a selfie.

Selfies have become an everyday habit that is not only used by stars and bloggers to stage themselves. The team of researchers headed by Tobias Schneider and Prof. Dr. Claus-Christian Carbon from the Department of General Psychology at the University of Bamberg analyzed in a current study. The researchers published their results in the specialist journal "frontiers in Psychology".

Influence of camera position examined
As part of their study, the scientists examined the influence of different camera positions on the effect of the selfies. How strongly the perception of personality traits can be influenced solely by the camera position is quite surprising. In the study, more than three hundred subjects evaluated computer-generated 3D models of real faces from seven different, selfie-typical camera perspectives, the university said.

Selfies an important medium?
In the investigation, the focus was on assessment dimensions such as attractiveness, dominance, intelligence or body weight, the researchers explain. According to study author Tobias Schneider, the "examined variables play a crucial role in social interactions and even in partner selection" and selfies would often serve as an important medium. "A reason to deal more closely with it as a psychologist," Schneider continues. The aim of the study was to find out whether certain camera positions are particularly flattering to a person or whether they lead to negative reviews.

Left half of the face particularly attractive for women?
Using the evaluation of the image assessments, the researchers were able to demonstrate that, for example, women are perceived as particularly attractive when they turn their left half of their face towards the camera. However, they appear more helpful when they show the right side of their face. Men, on the other hand, would appear more sympathetic if they turned their right half of their face towards the camera. From previous studies, which were carried out together with scientists from the University of Mainz, it was also known that a camera position from slightly above had a flattering effect on the assessment of body weight.

Lateral rotation of the camera makes you slim
With regard to the perception of body weight, the current study also showed that turning the camera sideways increases the flattering effect of a selfie from above. According to Professor Carbon, this may already be taken into account intuitively. "With a selfie, we usually hold the camera diagonally next to us and raise or lower our arm a bit," explains Carbon. According to the results of the current study, this intuitive action could make a strong contribution to “viewers of such a picture assessing their body weight significantly less.” With a camera positioned lower, the people depicted would generally be considered overweight, as a typical lateral rotation could cushion this effect . (fp)

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Video: Selfies Linked to Mental Health Conditions (December 2021).