A study shows that college students who take selfies report feeling happier and more confident, Claire Warner reports for Bustle.
In a study of 41 college students published in the Psychology of Well-Being, a group of students asked to take a smiling selfie reported positive mood changes along with increases in confidence.
The study followed the 41 college students for four weeks. Three times a day for these four weeks, students were asked to document their moods on a smartphone app.
While documenting their moods daily, the students were also broken into three groups and asked to take various types of photographs. The first group took smiling selfies, the second took photos of something that would make them happy, and the third took photos of something that would make someone else happy—and then sent the photos to that person.
The results of the study were overwhelmingly pro-selfie. Though participants in all three groups were generally happier after the photo task, the students in the smiling selfie group reported feeling more confident and developing a more natural smile.
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One participant in the study explained, "As the days went on, I got more comfortable taking photos of myself. If you feel good about yourself, then (a) selfie would be a way to capture that."
Selfies have been under fire for years. Critics call selfie-takers narcissistic and accuse them of seeking incessant validation.
But Warner argues that selfies might be a useful tool for building confidence—especially in marginalized groups more at risk for self-consciousness (Warner, Bustle, 9/15).
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