An Exploratory Study of “Selfitis” and the Development of the Selfitis Behavior Scale
Abstract In 2014, stories appeared in national and international media claiming that the condition of Bselfitis^ (the obsessive taking of selfies) was to be classed as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association and that the condition could be borderline, acute, or chronic. However, the stories were a hoax but this did not stop empirical research being carried out into the concept. The present study empirically explored the concept and collected data on the existence of selfitis with respect to the three alleged levels (borderline, acute, and chronic) and developed the Selfitis Behavior Scale (SBS). Initially, focus group interviews with 225 Indian university students were carried out to generate potential items for the SBS. The SBS was then validated using 400 Indian university students via exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Six factors were identified in the EFA comprising environmental enhancement, social com- petition, attention seeking, mood modification, self-confidence, and social conformity. The findings demonstrate that the SBS appears to be a reliable and valid instrument for assessing selfitis but that confirmatory studies are needed to validate the concept more rigorously.
Also published on Medium.