Sunday September 22, 2019

Taking and sharing smiling selfies can help one become a happier person, say Scientists at California University

Researchers collected nearly 2,900 mood measurements during the study and found that subjects in all three groups experienced increased positive moods

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Women taking selfies on beach. Pixabay
  • Chen and her colleagues designed and conducted a four-week study involving 41 college students
  • The project involved three types of photos to help the researchers determine how smiling, reflecting and giving to others might impact users’ moods
  • The study shows that sometimes our gadgets can offer benefits to users

New York, Sep 14, 2016: Taking smiling selfies with your smartphone and sharing them with your friends can help make you a happier person, say computer scientists at the University of California, Irvine.

“This study shows that sometimes our gadgets can offer benefits to users,” said senior author Gloria Mark, Professor of Informatics.

“Our research showed that practicing exercises that can promote happiness via smartphone picture-taking and sharing can lead to increased positive feelings for those who engage in it,” lead author Yu Chen, a post-doctoral scholar, added.

By conducting exercises via smartphone photo technology and gauging users’ psychological and emotional states, the researchers found that the daily taking and sharing of certain types of images can positively affect people.

A couple taking selfie. Pixabay
A couple taking selfie. Pixabay

Chen and her colleagues designed and conducted a four-week study involving 41 college students.

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The participants — 28 female and 13 male — were instructed to continue their normal day-to-day activities (going to class, doing schoolwork, meeting with friends, etc.) while taking part in the research.

Each was invited to the informatics lab for an informal interview and to fill out a general questionnaire and consent form. The scientists helped students load a survey app onto their phones to document their moods during the first “control” week of the study.

Participants used a different app to take photos and record their emotional states over the following three-week “intervention” phase.

The project involved three types of photos to help the researchers determine how smiling, reflecting and giving to others might impact users’ moods.

The first was a selfie to be taken daily while smiling. The second was an image of something that made the photo taker happy. The third was a picture of something the photographer believed would bring happiness to another person (which was then sent to that person). Participants were randomly assigned to take photos of one type.

Researchers collected nearly 2,900 mood measurements during the study and found that subjects in all three groups experienced increased positive moods.

Some participants in the selfie group reported becoming more confident and comfortable with their smiling photos over time, said the study published in the journal Psychology of Well-Being.

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The students taking photos of objects that made them happy became more reflective and appreciative.

And those who took photos to make others happy became calmer and said that the connection to their friends and family helped relieve stress. (IANS)

  • Anubhuti Gupta

    And people said that there were no upsides to taking selfies and there were just a waste of time.

  • Manthra koliyer

    Yes, gadgets give virtual happiness!

  • Ayushi Gaur

    Click more pictures

  • Enakshi

    Smile. Click . Share
    Make happiness Viral

Next Story

Instagram Users Tend to Compose Selfies that Horizontally Centre on One of Our Eyes, Particularly Left

This alignment is because our eyes provide a wealth of information about our gaze direction and what we are paying attention to

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Instagram, Body Image, teenagers, posts, restrict
New research suggests that Instagram users tend to compose selfies that look attractive and not real. Pixabay

It may not just be artists who make their eyes the centre-point of their own original work. New research suggests that Instagram users tend to compose selfies that horizontally centre on one of our eyes, particularly the left.

This alignment is because our eyes provide a wealth of information about our gaze direction and what we are paying attention to, which may in turn be used to share important information with the viewer about our mood and what we are thinking about, suggest the authors of the study.

“The core result of this study was to replicate my earlier finding that painters tend to centre one eye in portraits, throughout the centuries, in a modern version of which the selfie takers are simultaneously both the artists and the subjects of the portrait,” said Christopher Tyler, Professor at the University of London and a collaborator in the study.

“This centering tendency opposes the alternative possibility of placing the symmetric face symmetrically in the frame, which would avoid leaving the non-centered eye ‘out in the cold’. These results are important for understanding the perceptual principles in operation as these diverse ‘portraitists’ choose the framing and composition of their pictures,” Tyler said.

Instagram, Users, Selfies
It may not just be artists who make their eyes the centre-point of their own original work. Pixabay

Previous research has suggested that painters apply the same eye-centering principle in their portraits of others and of themselves, whether knowingly or not, while other research has argued that the eye-centering phenomenon may just be a statistical artefact caused by random processes.

In the current study, the researchers analysed over 4,000 Instagram selfie photos with an equal proportion taken in the major cities of New York (US), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Moscow (Russia), Berlin (Germany) and Bangkok (Thailand).

The study subdivided the images into ‘standard selfies’ taken at arm’s length using a camera-phone or a similar digital device, or a ‘mirror selfie’ taken of the creator’s reflection through a mirror and including the digital device in shot. This is an important distinction, partly as it is needed to differentiate whether people have a left or right bias toward composing their selfies.

For each selfie the horizontal position of each eye relative to the centre-line of the image was measured, with the distance and direction of the closest eye recorded.

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Statistical analyses applied to this information showed that the selfie creators tended to centre one of their eyes slightly to the left of centre of the selfie, and usually the left eye.

Interestingly, this centering tendency varied less among selfie subjects than expected if the phenomenon happened by chance, and was seen consistently across all the cities sampled in the study. (IANS)