Research Shows There Are 3 Different Types of Selfie Takers

Sasha (L) and Malia Obama, daughters of US President Barack Obama, take a photo of themselves during the Presidential Inaugural Parade on January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.   AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR        (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Research Shows There Are 3 Different Types of Selfie Takers

Find out which category you fall into.

Published January 17, 2017

We may live in a selfie-obsessed world, but new research says that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re self-obsessed. (Oh, thank God.) It’s hard not blame narcissism for the selfie phenomena, but a study performed at Brigham Young University found that the motivation of the selfie taker is a bit more complex than we thought.

Selfie shamers listen up, because there’s more to posting a self-portrait than a big ego. Forty-six people were surveyed and asked to rank statements about why one would take a selfie in order from most to least aligned with their personal behaviors. The findings, published in Visual Communication Quarterly journal, placed selfie-takers in three categories: communicators, autobiographers and self-publicists.

Scroll down to discover which type you are.

  1. Communicators

    Communicators like to spark a conversation. “They’re all about two-way communication,” explained co-author Maureen Elinzano. Politics, ethics, civic duty, a new pizza flavor — as long as you got something to say and want to hear what others have to say, your selfie game falls here.

    Zoe Kravitz used a selfie to encourage others to vote and share her thoughts on President-elect Donald Trump. Singer Alicia Keys has recently been pulling double duty as an image activist and posting selfies as part of her no makeup movement.

    I voted !!! ( for Hillary ) 🇺🇸 VOTE !!! ( cuz trump is evil )

    A photo posted by Zoë Kravitz (@zoeisabellakravitz) on

  2. Autobiographers

    Motivation for these selfie-takers comes from wanting to record key events in their lives and preserve significant memories. They want others to see their photos but aren’t necessarily seeking feedback. Lifestyle blogger Hannah  Bronfman regularly shares workout inspiration, and Ciara is chronicling her pregnancy with Russell Wilson on Instagram — both are perfect examples.

    Got myself to the gym this morning cause consistency is key. Whatever your motivation is, 2017 can be your year. #hbfit

    A photo posted by Hannah Bronfman (@hannahbronfman) on

    Good Morning 😘

    A photo posted by Ciara (@ciara) on

  3. Self-Publicists

    Contrary to popular belief, self-publicists are the smallest of the three groups. “[They] are the people who love documenting their entire lives,” said coauthor Harper Anderson. “And in documenting and sharing their lives, they’re hoping to present themselves and their stories in a positive light.” Insta-famous celebs like Karrueche and Kylie Jenner are definitely culprits of this!


    A photo posted by karrueche (@karrueche) on

    A photo posted by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

Written by Jazmine A. Ortiz

(Photo: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)


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