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  1. ITV Report

People who regularly take selfies 'overestimate their own attractiveness'

Selfie fans regularly overestimate their attractiveness in their photos, the study found Credit: Reuters

Posting a super-groomed selfie online could have the opposite effect to that intended, according to new research which found that selfie fans regularly overestimate their own attractiveness.

The study found that people who enjoy taking pictures of themselves rated themselves as more attractive than other people looking at their photos.

Observers also found selfie-takers less likeable as they appeared narcissistic, according to the researchers at the University of Toronto.

Outside observers found selfies less attractive - and also judged their takers to be narcissistic Credit: PA

The study recruited 198 undergraduate students who were asked to take both a 'selfie' image of themselves and also a photo of another person.

They were then whether they took selfies regularly, and were told to rate photos of themselves and others for both attractiveness and perceived 'likableness'.

Researchers found that selfie fans gave themselves a higher attractiveness score for their self-portraits than outside observers.

We found that selfie-takers believed their selfies to look more attractive and likable than photos of them taken by other people.

In reality, though, external raters actually perceived the targets’ selfies to look less attractive and less likable than the photos taken by others (as well as more narcissistic).

This self-favoring bias did not extend to non-selfie-takers.

– Study authors
Lewis Hamilton is among many celebrity selfie fans Credit: PA

The authors suggested that the result showed a tendency for "self-favouring bias" - and suggested that social media could inflate the effect.

"Given that Facebook—the world’s largest photo-based social networking site—allows users to ‘‘like’’ particular photos but not to ‘‘dislike’’ them, people could come to overestimate others’ favorable opinions of their selfies because the feedback they receive is uniformly positive," they wrote.

"The absence of a mechanism for negative responses may therefore hinder such feedback, skewing individuals’ self-perceptions to become more positive."