Much of the research on selfies reveals that (surprise!) people who take a lot of them tend to have narcissistic, psychopathic and Machiavellian personality traits — which may explain why they are oblivious when they bonk you on the head with their selfie sticks. This is not to say that everyone who takes a selfie is a psychopath, but it does imply a high need for self-gratification, particularly if they are posted online for social approval.
“People forget that narcissism is not just about being an egomaniac — it’s also driven by underlying insecurity,” said Jesse Fox, an assistant professor at Ohio State University’s School of Communication who studies the personalities of selfie takers. “They need to get ‘likes’ to get validation.”
Other research suggests people are more likely to post or text selfies when they are emotionally aroused, as when they are sexually excited, angry or anxious. Interestingly, nonarousing emotions like contentment are negatively associated with sharing selfies or other content.
Kate Murphy, “What Selfie Sticks Really Tell Us About Ourselves”, The New York Times (9 August 2015), SR4.