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Strangers Are Better At Choosing The Best Profile Photo For You, New Study Finds

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It is not surprising that you can do anything with the help of social media nowadays. You can find a job, start an online business, search for properties, and even make friends! With all this, you want to build a credible and appealing social media presence. Thus the need for a better profile picture!

So how do you look your best and create a great first impression online? A study published in the journal, “Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications” claims that the best way to do this is by asking the opinion of strangers.

The new study shows that strangers can help you choose profile photos that stand out.

Strangers have better opinion of what makes a good profile photo.

For the first phase, more than 100 participants were asked to choose 12 pictures which they would use or not use as profile pictures for various social media accounts. The researchers likewise asked strangers to choose the best profile pictures of the participants.

When the profile pictures chosen by the participants themselves were displayed alongside the ones chosen by strangers, it is clear to see that the strangers are more likely to choose appealing photos. The second phase involved using the crowdsourcing platform, Amazon Mechanical Turk, in which participants will rate the photos and what their first impressions are.

Researchers suggest that our own perception might not be the best judge when picking out the best profile photo for ourselves.

Source: David White

“Our findings suggest that people make poor choices when selecting flattering images of themselves for online profile pictures.” – David White, study lead author

White and his colleagues also found that the pictures considered great by the participants are those that were chosen by strangers.

Why, though, are strangers better at choosing a great photo?

White explained:

“It seems we’re bad at discriminating between images of our own face. We suspect this is because our face is overly familiar to us. This familiarity seems to make it harder to choose the specific shot that best portrays us.”

So next time you choose a profile picture, taking a selfie is probably not the best option. You may want to ask the opinion of a stranger.

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