Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Angry Faces: Facial Structure Linked To Aggressive Tendencies, Study Suggests

Date:
November 2, 2009
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Angry words and gestures are not the only way to get a sense of how temperamental a person is. According to new findings, a quick glance at someone's facial structure may be enough for us to predict their tendency towards aggression.

New research finds that a quick glance at someone's facial structure may be enough for us to predict their tendency towards aggression.
Credit: iStockphoto/Thomas Perkins

Angry words and gestures are not the only way to get a sense of how temperamental a person is. According to new findings in Psychological Science, a quick glance at someone's facial structure may be enough for us to predict their tendency towards aggression.

Facial width-to-height ratio (WHR) is determined by measuring the distance between the right and left cheeks and the distance from the upper lip to the mid-brow. During childhood, boys and girls have similar facial structures, but during puberty, males develop a greater WHR than females. Previous research has suggested that males with a larger WHR act more aggressively than those with a smaller WHR. For example, studies have shown that hockey players with greater WHR earn more penalty minutes per game than players with lower WHR.

Psychologists Justin M. Carrι, Cheryl M. McCormick, and Catherine J. Mondloch of Brock University conducted an experiment to see if it is possible to predict another person's propensity for aggressive behavior simply by looking at their photograph. Volunteers viewed photographs of faces of men for whom aggressive behavior was previously assessed in the lab. The volunteers rated how aggressive they thought each person was on a scale of one to seven after viewing each face for either 2000 milliseconds or 39 milliseconds.

The photographs were very revealing: Volunteers' estimates of aggression correlated highly with the actual aggressive behavior of the faces viewed, even if they saw the picture for only 39 milliseconds. Even more interestingly, the volunteers' estimates were also highly correlated with WHR of the faces -- the greater the WHR, the higher the aggressive rating, suggesting that we may use this aspect of facial structure to judge potential aggression in others. These findings indicate that subtle differences in face shape may affect personality judgments, which may, in turn, guide how we respond to certain individuals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carrι et al. Facial Structure Is a Reliable Cue of Aggressive Behavior. Psychological Science, 2009; 20 (10): 1194 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02423.x

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Angry Faces: Facial Structure Linked To Aggressive Tendencies, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091031002319.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2009, November 2). Angry Faces: Facial Structure Linked To Aggressive Tendencies, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091031002319.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Angry Faces: Facial Structure Linked To Aggressive Tendencies, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091031002319.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

Newsy (Apr. 13, 2014) — Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed an app to fight jet lag by adjusting your body's light intake. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

AP (Apr. 10, 2014) — As states slash funding for mental health services, police officers are interacting more than ever with people suffering from schizophrenia and other serious disorders of the mind. The consequences can be deadly. (April 10) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teen Drinking Rates Linked To Alcohol Mentions In Pop Music

Teen Drinking Rates Linked To Alcohol Mentions In Pop Music

Newsy (Apr. 9, 2014) — A University of Pittsburgh study found pop music that mentions alcohol is linked to higher drinking rates among teens. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins