In a study of 2000 selfies on Instagram, La Trobe University’s Senior Lecturer in Experimental Neuropsychology Dr Annukka Lindell found both men and women favour their left cheek.
“More than 40 per cent of participants repeatedly chose their left side in selfies, 30 per cent favoured their right cheek and almost 20 per cent preferred to take the photo face on.”
“The act of taking a selfie is very deliberate. On average, young women discard six selfies for each one they upload, so there must be something very special about the left cheek.”
With more than 291 million posts tagged #selfie on Instagram, Dr Lindell narrowed down her search to examine the digital self-portraits of 100 women and 100 men.
The Australian-first study looked at the most recent 10 selfies of each participant, some uploading all 10 in fewer than 24 hours.
“This left cheek bias has historic links. Previous research shows subjects of famous photographic and painted portraits, such as the da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, are more likely to face the artist showing their left side,” Dr Lindell said.
“It’s interesting that today with the immediacy and possibilities that photographic technology allows us that we are still naturally drawn to our left side.”
So why do people favour their left side? Dr Lindell said the left cheek is more emotionally expressive as it is controlled by emotion-dominant right side of the brain.
“The theory is that left cheek poses are intuitively perceived as more emotionally open and expressive than right cheek poses.”
“But do these left cheek selfies result in more ‘likes’ from their followers? Well, that remains to be seen.”
Media contact: Briena Barrett, 0432 566 014