Increased facial width-to-height ratio and perceived dominance in the faces of the UK's leading business leaders.

Alrajih, Shuaa and Ward, Jamie (2014) Increased facial width-to-height ratio and perceived dominance in the faces of the UK's leading business leaders. British Journal of Psychology, 105 (2). pp. 153-61. ISSN 0007-1269

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Abstract

The relative proportion of the internal features of a face (the facial width-to-height ratio, FWH) has been shown to be related to individual differences in behaviour in males, specifically competitiveness and aggressiveness. In this study, we show that the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the leading UK businesses have greater FWHs than age- and sex-matched controls. We demonstrate that perceivers, naive as to the nature of the stimuli, rate the faces of CEOs as higher in dominance or success, and that ratings of dominance or success are themselves correlated with the FWH ratio. We find no association with other inferred traits such as trustworthiness, attraction or aggression. The latter is surprising given previous research demonstrating a link between FWH and ratings of aggression. We speculate that the core association may be between FWH and drive for dominance or power, but this can be interpreted as aggression only in particular circumstances (e.g., when the stimuli are comprised of faces of young, as opposed to middle-aged, men).

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2015 07:53
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2015 07:53
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/55802
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