Researchers at Washington State University have determined that people who took selfies were perceived by strangers to be less likeable, less successful, more insecure and less open to new experiences than those who didn’t. By contrast, people who posted more posies (photos of themselves taken by others) were perceived as more successful, outgoing, likeable, dependable, and perhaps most importantly, had more potential for being a good friend.
Researchers analyzed data collected from two different groups of students before completing the study that was published in the Journal of Research Personality. There are a number of theories that researchers believe may explain their results. For example, the generally positive reaction to posies may be due to the fact that the photos appear more natural.
“Even when two feeds had similar content...feelings about the person who posted selfies were negative and feelings about the person who posted posies were positive,” said Chris Barry, Washington University Professor of Psychology & lead author of the study. "It shows there are certain visual cues, independent of context, that elicit either a positive or negative response on social media."
“While there may be a variety of motives behind why people post self‑images to Instagram, how those photos are perceived appears to follow a more consistent pattern,” Barry said.