Interpretation of appearance: the effect of facial features on first impressions and personality.

Karin Marie Brandt Wolffhechel, Jens Fagertun, Ulrik Plesner Jacobsen, Wiktor Majewski, Astrid Sofie Hemmingsen, Catrine Lohmann Larsen, Sofie Katrine Lorentzen, Hanne Østergaard Jarmer

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Appearance is known to influence social interactions, which in turn could potentially influence personality development. In this study we focus on discovering the relationship between self-reported personality traits, first impressions and facial characteristics. The results reveal that several personality traits can be read above chance from a face, and that facial features influence first impressions. Despite the former, our prediction model fails to reliably infer personality traits from either facial features or first impressions. First impressions, however, could be inferred more reliably from facial features. We have generated artificial, extreme faces visualising the characteristics having an effect on first impressions for several traits. Conclusively, we find a relationship between first impressions, some personality traits and facial features and consolidate that people on average assess a given face in a highly similar manner.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere107721
JournalP L o S One
Issue number9
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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