AIB Selfies

Smile! Selfies Shown to Improve Happiness


Selfies are proven to boost confidence and happiness.

Published in Psychology of Well-Being, the study states that those who smile when they shoot photographs of themselves could have surprising positive effects on mood.

“Our research showed that practicing exercises that can promote happiness via smartphone picture taking and sharing can lead to increased positive feelings for those who engage in it,” said Yu Chen.

Smartphone photography has taken a permanent place in many people’s lives. All standard phones now come with cameras — one back camera for scenic photographs, and a front camera for selfies.

A “selfie” is a slang term for self-shot photographs of ones face.

Therefore, they conducted just before the school season began, this study was due to interest in the mental health of students. Because in college many pupils encounter their first brush with stress, such as homesickness, budgeting, alienation, and anxiety. This makes them a vulnerable demographic.

The team highlights its importance to college students who may face pressure. However, it may likewise be applicable to an office setting where deadlines loom every day.

Mental health practitioners and psychologists often cite certain techniques to make life easier. For instance, remembering a happy memory, giving out gifts, smiles as placebos, and even smelling ones favorite flowers may all contribute to one’s well-being.

However, the researchers wanted to find out how modern advances in technology can help lift up mood.

In conclusion, “The good news is that despite their susceptibility to strain, most college students constantly carry around a mobile device, which can be a tool for stress relief,” Chen said.

“Added to that are many applications and social media tools that make it easy to produce and send images.” he continued.

The Study

Researchers from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California-Irvine conducted a study among 41 students over the course of a month.

Students were asked to take snapshots of their daily lives. They were divided into three groups. The first group was tasked to take daily selfies while smiling. The second group took pictures of what brings them happiness. Lastly, the third group took photos of something they thought would make someone else happy, and share it to them.

Researchers came up with nearly 3,000 mood measures, which ranged from happy, calm, comfortable, and appreciative. They realized that members which come from different groups all experienced increased feelings of happiness.

The group who took selfies felt more confident and comfortable. Hence, other two groups felt that the personal connections they established helped relieve stress.

“You see a lot of reports in the media about the negative impacts of technology use, and we look very carefully at these issues here at UCI,” said Gloria Mark, senior author and informatics professor.

I think this study shows that sometimes our gadgets can offer benefits to users.”

What makes you happy?

Yu Chen clarified the stance of their study.

“It is not selfies that make you happy. It is smiling that makes you happy.” he said.

Selfies may be a placebo of happiness. A smile would often lift up their mood.

Penn State University researchers had a similar finding. As a result, they claim that those who desire to appear popular get a mood boost whenever they view selfies.

In addition, “Groufies” also tend to improve self-esteem and satisfaction more than solo photos. As it reinforces their sense of community and belongingness.