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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 283-288

Personality predictors of “selfie-taking” behavior among college and school going students


1 Department of Psychology, National Post Graduate College, Lucknow University, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Clinical Psychology, Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary University, Gurugram, India

Date of Submission02-Apr-2020
Date of Decision21-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance13-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication30-Sep-2021

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Kanan Sharma
351, Masjid Moth, South Extension Part-2, New Delhi - 110 049
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_51_20

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  Abstract 


Aim: The study aims to identify significant personality predictors of selfie-taking behavior among college and school-going students. Methods: The sample size consists of 50 boys and 50 girls (n = 100) between the age range of 16–23 years from various schools and colleges of Delhi NCR. The tools used in the study were Cattell's 16 Personality Factors and Selfitis Behavior Scale. Results: The results of the study depicted a positive correlation of selfitis behavior with perfectionism and sensitivity. However, self-reliance, reasoning, and emotional stability showed a negative correlation with selfitis behavior. Furthermore, the results of the study showed that girls have more selfitis behavior as compared to boys and the college group have more selfitis behavior than that of the school group. ANOVA and linear regression were used to analyze data. Conclusion: Social media is the strongest tool of communication nowadays. “Selfies” are a growing social networking technique for self-disclosure. Use of social media is focusing on the physical aspect and allowing posting and amending pictures that are creating concerns about body image, poor self-esteem, loneliness, and depression among students. The overall results suggest that while selfies provide individuals with the potential of enhancing self-disclosure, they also demonstrate some risky and unhealthy behaviors. Therefore, predicting personality traits could be considered an effective variable to sensitize them before the deterioration of their mental health.

Keywords: Personality traits, selfie, social media, students


How to cite this article:
Sharma K, Gupta S. Personality predictors of “selfie-taking” behavior among college and school going students. Indian J Soc Psychiatry 2021;37:283-8

How to cite this URL:
Sharma K, Gupta S. Personality predictors of “selfie-taking” behavior among college and school going students. Indian J Soc Psychiatry [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 16];37:283-8. Available from: https://www.indjsp.org/text.asp?2021/37/3/283/327287




  Introduction Top


Over a period of time, technological advancement has given us a new addiction disorder pointed out by many psychiatrists related to selfie.[1]

In a previous couple of years, capturing selfies have seemed to astound everyone in this world and transfigured into a global trend. Selfie is defined by Oxford Dictionaries, 2013, as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

Today, the youngsters have a positive viewpoint on the concept of selfies as they have access to the opinions, views, and evaluations of others to develop their self-image in different ways on social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Immediacy and reaction to social media lead people to seek approval of others, and this sort of validation reinforces their perception of physical allure. Although selfies make it conceivable to enhance self-disclosure, there has been criticism concerning some unhealthy personality characteristics associated with this behavior.[2] The new technology literature has devoted a great deal to the demographics and personalities of social media users.[3],[4],[5] Studies have reported excessive selfie-taking being linked to psychopathologies such as obsession, grandiosity, narcissism, body dysmorphic disorder, Machiavellianism, and even death.[6],[7] Furthermore, it has been identified that excessive selfie-taking has severe medical consequences. In a study, of 250 students from Indian countries between the age of 18 and 25 (56% women), 30% recorded lower back pain, 15% had stress, 20% had cervical spondylitis, 25% had a headache, and 10% felt tendonitis.[8]

The degree of selfie addiction can be well measured by the fact that several deaths were registered in India due to the proliferation of smartphones. Indeed, in recent years, India has seen the highest degree of selfie-related deaths.[9] It has been discovered that in the age range of 18–24 years, each third photograph clicked is a selfie.[10] The hazardous impact of selfie-taking behavior has been reported on underlying negative body image, perception, moods of people, reduced self-esteem, greater social anxiety, and a willingness to undergo cosmetic operations.[11] Researchers have also found a moderate effect of gender in the relationship between narcissism and selfie-posting behavior as girls in comparison to boys spend a long time on social media and selfie-posting.[12] Selfie addiction and internet addiction have found to be correlated to a great extent.[13]

There is a glaring lack of evidence, which proves that selfie dependency is a psychological epidemic; however, it does not imply that it cannot be a key disease in near future.

This research intends to fill the gap in the scant body of previous researches by investigating significant personality traits which are predisposed to selfie-taking behaviors. This study will be helpful to provide baseline information about imperative personality traits associated with selfie syndrome and to seek better interventions for better health.

Objectives

  • To determine the personality predictors of selfie-taking behavior of college and school-going students
  • To study and compare the selfie-taking behaviors between boys and girls
  • To study and compare the selfie-taking behaviors between college and school-going students.


Hypotheses

  • H1: There will be some significant predictors of personality in selfie-taking behavior of school- and college-going students
  • H2: There will be a significant difference of selfie-taking behavior between girls and boys of college- and school-going students
  • H3: There will be a significant difference of selfie-taking behavior between college- and school-going students.



  Methods Top


Design

The research design used in this research is descriptive and correlational.

Sample

The present study consists of two independent groups which include a total of 100 participants. One group is of college students (25 boys and 25 girls) and the second group is of school students (25 boys and 25 girls) with the age range of 16–23 years. The research is based on purposive and convenience sampling, and the samples are taken from schools and universities under the Delhi NCR zone, whose names are not revealed due to ethical considerations.

Inclusion criteria

Students of 11th and 12th and college-going students, students who were available at the time of data collection, students between the age range of 16–23 years, and students who were willing to participate were included in the study.

Exclusion criteria

Those who do not have smartphones, those who deny giving consent to participate in the study, and those with neurological disorder were excluded from the study.

Procedure

After approval from the Research and Ethical Committee of SGT University, target sample of 100 students was approached. A general conversation was done and then the need for the study was explained to them. All participant's written consent to participate was taken. Confidentiality and anonymity were guaranteed at every level. The administration of the scale was done individually. The semistructured interview had been used to develop the rapport with the subjects and to know about significant feature subjects prefer on their phones, number of selfies taken per day, number of selfies posted per day, and time taken to take a selfie.

Tools

Cattell's 16 Personality Factors

This personality test consists of 187 items, which can be completed in 30–60 min in the paper and pencil mode and 20–35 min when administered via computer. Moderate-to-good reliability rating has been reported for the 16 Personality Factors (PF). Internal consistency reliabilities are on average 0.76 for the primary scales and a range of 0.68–0.87 for all 16 scales.[14]

Selfitis behavior scale

This scale consists of 20 items and there are three levels of “selfitis” borderline, acute, and chronic. It assesses six components, namely environmental enhancement, social competition, attention-seeking, mood modification, self-confidence, and social conformity. All the items loaded significantly with standardized values more than 0.60, and this satisfied the necessary condition for the content validity.[15]

Level of selfitis behavior scale

  • Borderline selfitis: Taking at least 3 selfies a day without posting them on social media
  • Acute selfitis: Taking and posting (on social media) at least 3 selfies a day
  • Chronic selfitis: Unable to resist the urge to take selfies “around the clock” and post at least 6 of those photos per day.[16]



  Results Top


As shown in [Table 1], a total of 100 college- and school-going students were approached, out of which 50% were girls and 50% were boys. The respondents belonged to the age group of 16–23 years. 59% of students belonged to nuclear families. Nearly three-fourths (73%) of the students had a condition of selfitis (the obsessive taking of selfies), out of which 19% were having chronic and 54% were having acute selfitis condition.
Table 1: Demographic characteristics of the study sample (n=100)

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Analysis of variance

[Table 2] shows inferential analysis to compare the two means of independent groups using ANOVA. College girls reported higher selfie-taking behavior (mean = 65.64, standard deviation [SD] = 16.55) than college boys (mean = 56.00, SD = 7.72). Schoolgirls reported higher selfie-taking behavior (mean = 54.00, SD = 11.43) than the schoolboys (mean = 48.00, SD = 7.83). Furthermore, the results in the 3rd row show that college students are more involved in selfie-taking behavior (mean = 61.26, SD = 13.52) than the school students (mean = 51.16, SD = 10.11).
Table 2: Mean and standard deviation of selfie-taking behavior in college- and school-going boys and girls at different educational levels

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[Table 3] shows that there was insufficient evidence to reject the interaction effect of a null hypothesis, F (1,96) = 0.451, P = 0.503 computed using α = 0.05. Girls and boys are significantly involved in selfitis behavior at P = 0.002, and college and school group are also significantly involved in selfitis behavior at P = 0.001.
Table 3: Summary table of ANOVA for selfie-taking behavior for gender and educational level

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Regression analysis

[Table 4] shows a simple linear regression, which predicts the selfitis behavior based on 16 PF. A significant linear equation of self-reliance was found (F [1,24] = 23.51, P < 0.01) with adjusted R2 of 0.48. This means that 48% of the total variability in selfitis behavior is explained by the 16 PF. Self-reliance decreased by 8.05 for each unit of 16 PF. This suggests that less self-reliant students are more prone to selfitis behavior. It comes out to be a significant predictor of selfie-taking behavior.
Table 4: Summary table for multiple regression analysis of selfie-taking behavior of college-going girls

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A significant linear equation of perfectionism was found (F [2,24] = 15.68, P < 0.01) with adjusted R2 of 0.55. This means that 55% of the total variability in selfitis behavior is explained by the 16 PF. Perfectionism increased by 3.37 for each unit of 16 PF. This suggests that students who have more perfectionism traits are more prone to selfitis behavior. It comes out to be a significant predictor of selfie-taking behavior.

A significant linear equation of reasoning was found (F [3,24] = 14.86, P < 0.01) with adjusted R2 of 0.63. This means that 63% of the total variability in selfitis behavior is explained by the 16 PF. Reasoning decreased by 5.71 for each unit of 16 PF. This suggests that students who have fewer reasoning abilities are more prone to selfitis behavior. It comes out to be a significant predictor of selfie-taking behavior.

[Table 5] shows a significant linear equation of emotional stability (F [1,24] = 12.89, P < 0.01) with adjusted R2 of 0.33. This means that 33% of the total variability in selfitis behavior is explained by the 16 PF. Emotional stability decreased by 5.69 for each unit of 16 PF. This suggests that students who are less emotionally stable are more prone to selfitis behavior. It comes out to be a significant predictor of selfie-taking behavior.
Table 5: Summary table for multiple regression analysis of Selfie-taking Behaviour of school-going girls

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A significant linear equation of sensitivity was found (F [1,24] =12.22, P < 0.01) with adjusted R2 of 0.48. This means that 48% of the total variability in selfitis behavior is explained by the 16 PF. Sensitivity increased by 9.18 for each unit of 16 PF. This suggests that more sensitive students are prone to selfitis behavior. It comes out to be a significant predictor of selfie-taking behavior.


  Discussion Top


The objective of the research was to determine the significant personality traits associated with selfie-taking behavior among college and school-going students, the most prevalent age group, and the role of gender involved in selfie-taking behavior.

The first hypothesis asserted that there will be significant predictors of personality associated with selfie-taking behavior among school- and college-going students. The proposition is supported as three significant personality predictors: perfectionism, self-reliance, and reasoning are associated with selfie-taking behavior among college-going girls and two significant personality predictors: emotional stability and sensitivity are associated with selfie-taking behavior among school-going girls. “Perfectionism” is found to be a positive predictor of selfitis behavior among college-going girls, suggesting that individuals who put forth persistent efforts to attain “perfect selfie” are more likely to have an obsession, compulsion, and perfection.[17] Perfectionism is a characteristic feature of narcissism.[18] Various studies showed that there is a relationship between selfie-posting behavior and narcissism.[2],[19],[20],[21] The physical appearance of narcissists is overestimating in many people's sight as they stick and adorn themselves in suggestive and enticing ways.[22]

“Self-reliance” is found to be a negative personality predictor of selfitis behavior among college-going girls, suggesting that those who score low are likely to be affiliative, group-oriented, and dependent. The foremost purpose behind utilizing selfies as a medium is that it instantly gratifies the students' need for integration, social interaction, information, and comprehension of their social surrounding.[23]

“Reasoning” is found to be a negative predictor of selfitis behavior among college-going girls, suggesting that persistent use of smartphones can impair cognitive abilities and sleeping patterns and even turn some people into lazy thinkers and can also interfere with the development of social and problem-solving skills.[24]

“Emotional stability” was also found to be a negative predictor of selfitis behavior among school-going girls, indicating that those with anxieties, feelings of jealousy, and even depression are more likely to get into the pit of this new age disorder. Consistent with the findings, research revealed that emotional stability is a negative predictor of using social media, which means that people who are high in neuroticism are more likely to use social media because it allows them to contemplate messages and all their activities than face-to-face interactions.[4]

“Sensitivity” is found to be a positive predictor of selfitis behavior among school-going girls, depicting that those school girls are more susceptible to the feelings and opinions of other people, societal expectations, and norms. In the event where their peers refuse their pictures or clothing, they become discouraged, separate themselves, and become depressed and it affects well-being and body confidence.[25] School-going girls have greater dissatisfaction effects on their body image.[26] Sharing selfies can lead to greater social sensitivity and lower self-esteem.[27]

Interestingly, no significant personality predictors of selfitis behavior found among school- and college-going boys. However, some studies have reported narcissism to be a significant predictor of selfie-taking behaviour, more so in men than in women.[21],[28]

The second hypothesis asserted that there will be a significant difference of selfie-taking behavior between girls and boys of college and school-going students. The proposition is supported as the results show that girls are more inclined toward selfie-taking behavior than boys. Reason can be attributed to women being naturally more cognizant about their physical allure in comparison to men.[11] Females are more likely to take personal and group selfies, post personal selfies, crop photos, and use photographic filters compared to males.[29]

The third hypothesis asserted significant difference of selfie-taking behavior between college- and school-going students as college group is more inclined toward selfie-taking behaviors than the school group. This finding is consistent with research which found that more than half of the college students have moderate selfie addiction in comparison to school student.[30] Furthermore, it has been found that selfie-taking behaviors impede the social and academic performance of students.[31]


  Conclusion Top


This study proposes that selfie-taking may transform into a subject of concern when an individual overindulges in such behaviors and lead to serious mental health issues. Through social networking, the young generation not only creates and maintain intimate connections but also their own idealized identities. With regard to the findings of the research, the ultimate outcomes give more insight into the personality characteristics that describe why certain people are emotionally bound to selfie-taking behaviors than others. Results found that perfectionism (positive personality predictor), self-reliance, and reasoning (negative personality predictor) are three significant personality predictors of selfie-taking behavior among college-going girls, and emotional stability (negative personality predictor) and sensitivity (positive personality predictor) are two significant personality predictors of selfie-taking behavior among school-going girls. The results also reiterate our concern about girls being more inclined towards selfie-taking behavior than boys and college group being more inclined toward selfie-taking behaviors than the school group. Intervention studies are needed to be undertaken explicitly for psychoeducation, family counseling, behavioral counseling emphasizing self-motivation, and self-control on unnecessary use of social media to foster holistic well-being.

Limitations

  • The present study has limited size due to time constraints; nonetheless, it has shown significant results pertained to predicting personalities of people with selfitis behavior
  • The present study was carried out in an urban environment; the population of the study did not have representatives for the rural population
  • Age range can be expanded for people of other age groups
  • The present study used purposive and convenience sampling techniques; for future studies, sampling can be more precise for the better representativeness of the sample.


Acknowledgments

I am thankful to my project supervisor, Dr. Shubhangi Gupta, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, who provided insight, encouragement, and expertise that greatly assisted the research. I would also like to show my gratitude to the Prof. (Dr.) Rajbir Singh, additional dean of Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, for his guidance on writing results and analysis results using SPSS. I am also grateful to Dr. Lokesh Gupta for his valuable comments that greatly improved the manuscript. I would also like to express my deepest love, acknowledgment, and appreciation to my beloved family: for their love and support; without them, I never could have made it this far. I also want to extend my deepest gratitude to the informants who formed the sample of this study for providing me with invaluable information without any kind of inhibitions.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]



 

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