Social media can be a critical tool in doing research into your own client or the other party and his or her attorney. It can give you an idea as to who this person is, his or her past and what to expect from them.
If you find a lot of “selfies” posted by a male there’s more of a chance the person will score higher on measures of narcissism and psychopathy, according to a study. Men who are more likely to edit these selfies before posting them also scored higher in narcissism and self-objectification, measuring how much they prioritize their appearance.
Narcissism is a belief that you’re smarter, more attractive and better than others, but with some underlying insecurity. Psychopathy involves a lack of empathy for others and a tendency toward impulsive behavior.
Jesse Fox, the lead author of the study and assistant professor of communication at The Ohio State University, says the results don’t mean that men posting many selfies are narcissists or psychopaths, according to an article in Science Daily. Those in the study scored within the normal range of behavior, but with higher than average levels of these anti-social traits.
The study involved 800 men from 18 to 40 who completed an online survey asking about photo posting on social media. They also filled out questionnaires for anti-social behaviors and for self-objectification.
- The study results showed posting more photos was related to narcissism and psychopathy, but psychopathy was not related to editing photos.
- Fox says that’s because psychopathy is characterized by impulsivity. Someone with that trait just wants to see themselves, they don’t want to spend time editing.
- The study didn’t include women. Fox said she is currently doing follow-up work that suggests the same findings also apply to them too.
Editing photos was also related to higher levels of self-objectification which involves valuing yourself mainly for your appearance, rather than for other positive traits.
- If serious enough this could lead to depression and eating disorders in women.
- People who score higher on self-objectification post more selfies, which leads to more feedback from friends online, which encourages them to post even more photos of themselves, Fox states.
Before your next mediation or negotiation, let your fingers do the walking. See what you can find on social media. Take a look at the photos, count them and get a glimpse beyond professional head shots and pictures from a skiing trip. You might also find out what’s going on inside the person’s head.