Selfie and self: The effect of selfies on self-esteem and social sensitivity

Youngsoo Shin, Minji Kim, Chaerin Im, Sang Chul Chong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The phenomenon of taking and sharing selfies has become widespread in everyday life. However, previous studies on the selfie have not dealt with the effect of the experience of a selfie. Therefore, we examined the effect of the selfie on people who took and shared their selfies. Based on the social comparison theory, we focused on two psychological factors: social sensitivity and self-esteem. In the experiment, we manipulated the context of experiencing selfies. The participants were asked to take a picture of a self-portrait or a cup, using their own smartphone. Then, they were instructed to either post it on social media or save it on their smartphone. The participants' social sensitivity was assessed by measuring their reaction time (RT) to a social probe, and self-esteem was evaluated by measuring the size of their signatures. We found that participants' RT to a social probe decreased and the size of their signature decreased, after they took and shared their selfie. These results suggest that taking and sharing selfies could result in greater social sensitivity and lower self-esteem of selfie takers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Yonsei University Future-leading Research Initiative of 2016 (2016-22-0038).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


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