Like Taking Selfies? You May Be Literally Insane

In what is doubtlessly the most hilarious study on this subject ever conducted by scientists, research shows that there’s a correlation between men posting unedited photos of themselves on social networking sites, and psychopathy.   If you post unedited selfies, there’s a chance you’re literally psycho.

The study focused only on men (another one about women is coming) and basically managed to sort your selfie behavior into three categories of insanity – psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism.  So three traits that would make you a fine serial killer if push came to shove.  Obviously narcissism is at the heart of posting selfies, that’s going to apply for you too ladies, and means you want not just to be seen but to see yourself.  You’re the one posting it so, acknowledged or not, you do it for yourself.  But those who do so without editing first, just to put it up as is, let narcissism take a back seat to psychopathy.  The lack of editing, of taking a pic and posting it right away, is a sign of extreme impulsivity.  You want to see yourself, but you don’t care for the editing, it has to be now.  That’s where just being a Kardashian gives way to being a Hannibal Lecter.

Does this mean if you post unedited selfies you’re going to put on a hockey mask and start taking out campers down by the lake?  Hell, maybe, that’s pretty hard to predict based on your Instagram.  But probably not.  There are likely a hell of a lot more psychopaths in the world than you would have guessed, only a fraction of whom turn to murder as a past time.  There are estimates that about 1% of the general population would meet the diagnosis of a psychopath, which seems low until you remember how many people are out there.  That means 3 million psychos in America alone, and 70 million in the world at large.  That’s a lot of mad bastards.

As it happens, just being a psychopath doesn’t make you a criminal, it just means the way you look at the world and act in it are more in line with the kinds of behaviors that are likely to get you sent to prison.  For instance, psychopathy is characterized by “callousness, superficial and shallow emotion, lack of empathy, irresponsibility, lack of remorse or guilt about harming others, and the tendency to exploit, manipulate and engage in predatory behavior towards others.”  So all of that could make you an awesome carjacker which in turn makes you a criminal, but if you never jack a car, then you’re just kind of an asshole, but that’s perfectly legal.  This is why it’s believed a lot of super rich CEO’s of big companies are actually psychopaths, it makes them really good at business.

For a fun experiment, try explaining this to someone you know who takes a lot of selfies and see how long before they ignore you.