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On Dominance and Submission

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I recently returned from an epic road trip that took the missus and me everywhere from lonely byways in the heart of the Great Plains to the unrestrained hedonism of the Las Vegas Strip. But no matter where we happened to be, there was always one thing we could count on: people taking selfies.

I’m not entirely sure why, by I find the practice to be one of the most obnoxious developments of the Digital Age. Is it narcissism that drives people to take a selfie at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon? Or is it simply an example of herd mentality? Perhaps both.

But that’s not all. According to Dr. David Ludden at Psychology Today, people use selfies to, depending on their intended audience, create a certain impression:

Just like other animals, humans also equate size with dominance and submission. The priest stands at the altar before a kneeling congregation. The orator struts upon a dais before a seated audience. And the king sits on his raised throne before his prostrate subjects. These are all ancient practices, but there’s also a modern ritual in which people try to manage other people’s impressions of how tall they are—the selfie!

And it turns out that this “impression management” actually works. Read the whole article.



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