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Selfie and the City: A World-Wide, Large, and Ecologically Valid Database Reveals a Two-Pronged Side Bias in Naïve Self-Portraits

PLoS ONE, 2015, Vol.10(4) [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Selfie and the City: A World-Wide, Large, and Ecologically Valid Database Reveals a Two-Pronged Side Bias in Naïve Self-Portraits
  • Author: Bruno, Nicola ; Bertamini, Marco ; Protti, Federica
  • Contributor: Guo, Kun (editor)
  • Found In: PLoS ONE, 2015, Vol.10(4) [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Subjects: Research Article
  • Description: Self-portraits are more likely to show the artist’s right than left cheek. This phenomenon may have a psychobiological basis: Self-portraitists often copy their subject from mirrors and, if they prefer to present their left cheek (more expressive due to right-lateralization of emotions) to the mirror, this would result in a right-cheek bias in the painting. We tested this hypothesis using SelfieCity (3200 selfies posted on Instagram from December 4 through 12, 2013 from New York, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Moskow, and Bangkok), which includes two selfie-taking styles: a “standard” (photograph of selfie-taker) and a “mirror” (photograph of mirror reflection of selfie-taker) style. We show that the first style reveals a left cheek bias, whereas the second reveals a right cheek bias. Thus side biases observed in a world-wide, large, and ecologically valid database of naïve self-portraits provide strong support for a role of psychobiological factors in the artistic composition of self-portraits.
  • Identifier: E-ISSN: 1932-6203 ; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124999 ; PMCID: 4411109 ; PMID: 25915767

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