Have you ever heard yourself or someone say, “they have such a trusting face”, or “they look so innocent”? The fact is that as humans we make judgments about people based on their photo. There is in reality a psychology behind our social media profile picture. We look at facial expressions, eyes, shape of faces, how the hair is arranged, and we make some immediate judgment about what the person and attribute all sorts of personality and behavioral characteristics to them. It is a part of our automatic processing system, and there are a variety of reasons why we automatically do it. The first and foremost is to prepare our selves as much as possible for what we can expect from another human being. Other times it has to do with mate selection, chances of a successful interaction, and yes even trust.
We also make judgments when instead of posting your picture you post a picture of your children, pet, or some group shot. There are all sorts of interpretations and conclusions we come to based on those pictures. There is in fact a whole bunch of research devoted to the “science of vision”.
As serious as that is, and I do believe that the psychology of the social media profile picture is important, occasionally I run across something that is psychologically related, and not all that scientific, but is simply a humorous poke at what people do psychologically on social media.
My Life put together a humorous infographic of the 10 most common social media profile photos and gave a non-scientific psychological explanation behind them. While they may not be scientific…the fact is you may find them psychologically relevant.
Do you have a better explanation for these photos? Do you have some that you think should be included? Make a comment and share the fun.
Staying Psychologically Healthy,
Jay Izso, Internet Doctor®