“Zoom Vanity”: you are not necessarily narcissistic!

Zoom, FaceTime, Teams… During our virtual exchanges, many of us give in to the sirens of “Zoom Vanity“. A team of American researchers has looked into the subject and rest assured, staring at your camera during your meetings does not make you a narcissistic person! The study of Carson College of Business from Washington State University rather indicates that you lack self-confidence (source 1).

In the summer and fall of 2020, 80 professionals and 350 students were interviewed about “the nature of their work or class meetings and the feelings they had”. Closing? People with high self-confidence are less likely to look at their own camera, “they see virtual meetings more positively,” the study says. On the contrary, people with low self-confidence spend most of their time looking at themselves. An attitude that shows how shy people seek to avoid confrontation with other participants.

“Seeing yourself and others during virtual meetings contributes to negative attitudes towards this type of technology, supporting our original hypothesis,” the researchers write. And to continue: “the association between the frequency of self-visualization during videoconferences and aversion to virtual meetings depends on the level of awareness of being seen publicly during the collective exchange”.

Indeed, virtual meetings are not easy for everyone. “A manager running a meeting would probably prefer everyone to have their cameras on, obviously. it’s not ideal for everyone“, explains the director of the study, Kristine Kuhn, to Slate.fr (source 2). However, she stresses that the results should be taken with caution, given the small number of participants, and invites other scientists to look into the subject.

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