Want the perfect profile picture? Then ask someone else to choose it


How a lot thought did you set into your present profile image on Facebook? Probably slightly greater than you are prepared to confess. Well, it could have been a waste of time – as a result of it is probably full stranger .

That’s the tough conclusion of a revealed within the journal Cognitive Research, which in contrast self-selected profile photos with these chosen by others. Six hundred and ten members have been requested to decide on pictures of themselves that they have been most, and least, probably to make use of on Facebook, on skilled websites and on courting websites. 

They rated these pictures for a set of various elements – attractiveness, trustworthiness, dominance, competence and confidence. Then they did the identical factor with images of somebody who was a complete stranger. 

Finally, a bunch of additional members rated the pictures on the identical elements with out selecting photos of their very own.


The outcomes present that folks’s self-selected pictures rated worse than these chosen by others. “Contrary to predictions based on people’s general expertise in self-presentation, other-selected images conferred more favorable impressions than self-selected images,” the researchers .

“We conclude that people make suboptimal choices when selecting their own profile pictures, such that self-perception places important limits on facial first impressions formed by others.”

Why? The researchers imagine that we are likely to look extra favourably on images of ourselves, and these notion biases intervene with our potential to discriminate between pictures.

“This phenomenon has clear practical significance,” the researchers add.

“Should people wish to ‘put their best face forward’ they should ask someone else to choose it.”

Leave a Reply