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Women Perceive Edited Selfies on Instagram as Less Authentic, says Study

The results showed that the more participants perceived that the photos were edited, the less they internalised the thin ideal

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Instagram
Instagram. Pixabay

Women may perceive selfies on Instagram and other social media sites as less authentic if they know it has been edited, a new study suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Body Image, suggest that when women believed that selfies of thin and sexualised women had been edited, viewing these images had less negative impact on their mental health.

“Women see the edited photos as less authentic and it reduces the negative effect these images can have on them. They know that the online images might not reflect an offline reality,” said lead author Megan Vendemia from The Ohio State University in the US.

According to the researcher, many studies have found that viewing thin and sexualised images of models or others can lead women to put more value on being slender themselves — a line of thinking called thin ideal internalisation.

Instagram
Representational image. Pixabay

This internalisation can in turn lead to eating disorders or other psychological problems. But the findings suggested that women were less likely to internalise the thin ideal if they believed the pictures they viewed were edited.

For the study, the research team involved 360 female college students who were told that the study was designed to determine how people evaluate images that appear on popular social media sites.

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The team viewed 45 selfies, taken from public Instagram accounts of thin women in revealing clothing. Some of the photos had icons, placed by the researchers, that indicated the image was edited in Photoshop or included an Instagram filter.

The results showed that the more participants perceived that the photos were edited, the less they internalised the thin ideal. (IANS)

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Posting Selfies Seen as People Being Insecure & Less Likeable

According to some researchers, people who post selfies are seen as insecure and less likeable by others

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Individuals who post a lot of selfies are almost uniformly viewed as less likeable, less successful, more insecure and less open to new experiences than individuals who share a greater number of posed photos taken by someone else. Pixabay

Even though selfies are popular, researchers say that those who post selfies are viewed as less likeable, less successful and more insecure. Published in the Journal of Research in Personality, the scientists conducted a novel experiment with hundreds of actual Instagram users to determine if there are certain types of self-image posts that cause others to make snap judgements about the user’s personality.

Their work shows that individuals who post a lot of selfies are almost uniformly viewed as less likeable, less successful, more insecure and less open to new experiences than individuals who share a greater number of posed photos taken by someone else.

“Even when two feeds had similar content, such as depictions of achievement or travel, feelings about the person who posted selfies were negative and feelings about the person who posted posies were positive,” said study lead author Chris Barry, professor at Washington State University.

“It shows there are certain visual cues, independent of context, that elicit either a positive or negative response on social media,” Barry said.

For the study, the research team analysed data from two groups of students. The first group, consisting of 30 undergraduates, were asked to complete a personality questionnaire and agreed to let the researchers use their 30 most recent Instagram posts for the experiment.

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For the study, the research team analysed data from two groups of students. Pixabay

The second group of students consisted of 119 undergraduates. This group was asked to rate the Instagram profiles of the first group on 13 attributes such as self-absorption, low self-esteem, extraversion and success, using only the images from those profiles.

The research team then analysed the data to determine if there were visual cues in the first group of students’ photos that elicited consistent personality ratings from the second group.

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It was also found that the students who posted more posies were viewed as being relatively higher in self-esteem, more adventurous, less lonely, more outgoing, more dependable, more successful and having the potential for being a good friend, while the reverse was true for students with a greater number of selfies on their feed.

Personality ratings for selfies with a physical appearance theme, such as flexing in the mirror, were particularly negative, the researchers found. (IANS)