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Science says: Let a stranger pick your profile picture
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Apr 10, 2017


If you want to look your best in your profile picture, research suggests delegating the decision to a stranger.

When scientists in Australia studied the profile picture selection process, they found many make poor decisions. When strangers were allowed to choose a person's profile pic, the images scored better first impressions.

"Previous work has shown that people make inferences about an individual's character and personality within a split second of seeing a photograph of their face, so our results have clear practical implications," David White, a researcher at the University of New South Wales, said in a news release. "If you want to put your best face forward, it makes sense to ask someone else to choose your picture."

White and his colleagues asked 102 students to pick two out of 12 images of themselves, pictures they would be most and least likely to use as a profile pic on various online networks -- social, dating professional networks. The same participants were then asked to select images for a stranger's profile pics.

The results -- detailed in the journal Cognitive Research -- showed participants tended to select pictures that properly emphasized the personality traits appropriate for each type of online network.

"Our results demonstrate that people know how to select profile pictures that fit specific networking contexts and make positive impressions on strangers: dating images appear more attractive, and professional images appear more competent," White said.

But when researchers showed the selected profile pictures to volunteer judges, they found the pictures selected by strangers earned more favorable first impressions.

"Future research needs to investigate the mechanisms that underlie the choices people make when selecting profile pictures to find out why people seem to have a limited ability to select the most flattering images of themselves," White concluded.

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Study reveals 10,000 years of genetic continuity in northwest North America
Champaign IL (SPX) Apr 10, 2017
A study of the DNA in ancient skeletal remains adds to the evidence that indigenous groups living today in southern Alaska and the western coast of British Columbia are descendants of the first humans to make their home in northwest North America more than 10,000 years ago. "Our analysis suggests that this is the same population living in this part of the world over time, so we have geneti ... read more

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Science says: Let a stranger pick your profile picture

Neuroscientists measure 'higher' state of consciousness

Putting social science modeling through its paces

Study reveals 10,000 years of genetic continuity in northwest North America




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