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Study Links Selfie-Taking with Narcissism and Self-Esteem in Young Women

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A recent study delves into the psychological implications of “selfitis” – the habitual taking of selfies – among young female students, revealing significant connections to narcissism, personality, self-esteem, and body image. The findings were published in The International Journal of Indian Psychology.

In an age dominated by social media and digital communication, the practice of taking selfies has become ubiquitous, particularly among young adults. This behaviour, now termed “selfitis”, has spurred significant academic interest, leading to a study that explores its psychological underpinnings. Conducted with 100 female university students aged 22–23 in Ludhiana District, Punjab, the study aims to understand how selfitis correlates with aspects of personality, self-esteem, and body image.

The research utilised various psychological tests to assess four key variables: selfitis behaviour, narcissism, personality, self-esteem, and body image. The Pearson product-moment correlation method was employed to determine the relationships between these variables. The results were revealing: there were significant correlations between selfitis and each of the other variables. Specifically, a strong link was found between selfitis behaviour and narcissism, indicating that those who frequently take selfies may have higher levels of narcissistic traits.

Narcissism, characterised by grandiosity and excessive positive self-evaluation, particularly regarding social standing and physical attractiveness, showed a notable correlation with selfitis. This suggests that the act of taking and sharing selfies on social platforms may be a form of self-promotion, driven by a need for approval and validation from others.

The study also highlighted connections between selfitis and various personality traits. Agreeableness and neuroticism, both dimensions of personality, showed moderate correlations with selfie behaviour. This indicates that certain personality traits may predispose individuals to engage more frequently in taking selfies.

Interestingly, the research also found significant relationships between selfitis behaviour and self-esteem, as well as body image. This suggests that the way individuals perceive and value themselves, along with their perceptions of their physical appearance, can influence their selfie-taking habits.

The study’s findings offer valuable insights into the psychological aspects of a prevalent social phenomenon. Understanding the link between selfitis and aspects like narcissism, personality, self-esteem, and body image is crucial, especially considering the growing influence of social media on mental health and self-perception among young adults. Future research could expand on these findings, exploring the implications of these correlations in different demographic and cultural contexts.

The study provides compelling evidence of the intricate relationships between the modern phenomenon of selfie-taking and various psychological factors. This research not only enhances our understanding of selfitis but also highlights the broader impact of social media behaviour on individual psychology.

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