Did you know that women ages 16 to 25 spend more than five hours a week taking selfies? That could be because each time we attempt a selfie, it takes seven snaps to get the perfect one.
And what makes the perfect selfie? For many, it’s one that shows their left side. There is a “left cheek bias” when it comes to posing for selfies, according to a new study conducted at La Trobe University in Australia.
Researchers wanted to see whether there is a favored selfie side, so they examined “intra-individual consistency” in selfie poses. They identified 200 selfie-taking participants (100 male and 100 female) by searching #selfie on Instagram, and the 10 most recent selfies for the each of the participants were selected. The researchers ended up with 2,000 selfies to review. Then they coded the type of selfie (normal, or in a mirror) and the pose (left, middle, or right). They found most (92 percent) selfie-takers do have a preferred pose: 41 percent of participants showed a left-cheek bias, 31.5 percent favored the right, and 19.5 percent opted for a midline pose.
When they got rid of the midline option, 53.17 percent showed their left cheek, while 46.83 percent showed their right.
The differences were even more extreme when they compared mirror selfies to normal ones, with left still being the preferred side.
So why do we tend to turn our left cheek? “We think that people are more likely to adopt left cheek poses in selfies because they’re more emotionally expressive than right cheek poses,” study author Annukka K. Lindell tells Yahoo Beauty. She explains that because the left side of the face is controlled by the emotion-dominant right side of the brain, whether we’re grinning or giving a faux pout, the left side of the face is “anatomically more expressive.”
“Though we’re rarely conscious of this difference in day-to-day life, research confirms that it influences our opinions: People in left-cheek poses appear more emotionally expressive, more open, and more creative than identical models in right-cheek poses,” says Lindell.
And this pattern goes way back. “Previous research extending back over 500 years has found that people posing for both painted and photographic portraits are more likely to offer the left cheek,” she says.
So there you have it — that explains why you’re always fighting for the left side when you take selfies with friends.
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