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article imageStudy: Shape of person's face indication of aggression, dominance

By Greta McClain     Oct 23, 2014 in Science
Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that the shape of a person's face can determine how domineering and aggressive they are.
In a joint study, researchers from Leeds University Business School, Bath Spa University, University of Bristol and Brunel University looked at the connection between the facial features of 103 individuals and particular personality traits of those same individuals.
The study group consisted of 54 male and 49 female volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30. Each volunteer was photographed with neutral expressions at the same camera distance and angle. Their faces were then measured from cheek to cheek and from just above the upper lip to the top of their eyelids. Questionnaires designed to gather responses regarding self assessment of anger, aggression, dominance and hostility were also given to each volunteer. After compiling answers from the questionnaire and comparing those answers to the facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) of each study participant, researchers found that wider faced males reported to be more prone to physical and verbal aggression. Those same individuals also reported to be more easily angered, although they did not report feeling more hostile. The female volunteers reported to more verbally aggressive. The study also showed that the fWHR, not facial masculinity, was linked to personality traits involving dominance and aggression.
Although this study showed that the shape of an individual's face influences self-reported aggression and dominance, a recently released study by Carnegie Mellon University indicated that the size and shape of an person's face influences how others perceive that person. In that study, individuals with distinct jawbones and more masculine features are perceived to more domineering.
Researchers conducting the fWHR study believe their finding may be connected to the evolution of certain individuals. According to Medical Xpress, researchers theorize that since individuals with wider faces tend to have stronger cheekbones, they can more easily tolerate blows from someone they have angered due to their aggressive or domineering personality.
More about face shape, facial widthtoheight ratio, Aggression, Dominance, Anger
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