Pregnancy, Babies, Parenting News & Tips

Wide-faced Men Make Others Act Selfishly

By Staff Reporter / Sep 16, 2013 03:38 PM EDT
  • Faces Graphic
  • (Photo : UC Riverside) A series of studies by two UC Riverside assistant professors shows individuals behave more selfishly when interacting with men with wider faces.

Two assistant professors of management at the University of California, Riverside and several other researchers have previously shown that men with wider faces are more aggressive, less trustworthy and more prone to engaging in deception.

Like Us on Facebook

Now, in a just-published paper, they have shown, in a series of four studies, that individuals behave more selfishly when interacting with men with wider faces and this selfish behavior elicits selfish behavior in others.

"This clearly shows that this behavior is also socially driven, not just biologically driven," said Michael P. Haselhuhn, an assistant professor of management at UC Riverside's School of Business Administration, who is the lead author of the paper.

He co-authored the paper with Elaine M. Wong, also an assistant professor of management at UC Riverside, and Margaret E. Ormiston, an assistant professor of organisational behavior at London Business School. The paper, "Self-Fulfilling Prophecies as a Link between Men's Facial Width-to-Height Ratio and Behavior," was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The paper builds on two previous papers written by Haselhuhn and Wong.

In a 2011 paper, "A face only an investor could love: CEOs' facial structure predicts their firms' financial performance," published in the journal Psychological Science, they found men with wider faces tend to lead more financially successful firms.

With "Bad to the bone: Facial structure predicts unethical behaviour," which was co-published with Ormiston in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B in 2012, they found men with wider faces are more likely to lie and cheat.

These two papers, plus the just-published paper, show the significance of the underlying mechanism of power, Wong said.

"People need to think more carefully about how they use power and how they can use it in helpful ways," she said.

The work also shows the importance of appearance when selecting a CEO, especially as CEOs increasingly become the face of organizations.

"We don't expect organizations to select their CEO based on the shape of their face, but first impressions do matter," Wong said.

The four studies conducted as part of the just-published paper involved between 131 to 207 participants each.

In the first study, the researchers established a relationship between facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) and general self-interest, demonstrating that men with higher fWHRs behaved more selfishly when dividing resources between themselves and a partner.

In two subsequent studies, the researchers examined the same decisions from the partner's point of view and showed that partners change their own behavior based on a target's fWHR.

In the final study, they showed that the partners' behavior, based on the targets' fWHR, leads the target to act in ways consistent with the partners' expectations. This shows a link between men's fWHR and behavior, which otherwise may be attributed to biological factors, but is also a function of social responses to men's facial structure.

Provided by University of California - Riverside
Featured Video : Never Leave Your Child Alone in the Car: Parents Urged to Take Heat Stroke Seriously Before it's too late

Johnson & Johnson pulls controversial hysterectomy tool from market

Johnson & Johnson is withdrawing from the global market a device used during hysterectomies and other uterine procedures after reports that it may spread and accelerate the growth of undetected cancer inside women.

Read More »

Fear of Losing Money, Not Spending Habits, Affects Investor Risk Tolerance

As the U.S. economy slowly recovers, many investors remain wary about investing in the stock market. Investors' "risk tolerance," or their willingness to take risks, is an important factor for investors deciding whether, and how much, to invest in the stock market. Now, Michael Guillemette, an assistant professor of personal financial planning in the University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences, along with David Nanigian, an associate professor at the American College, analyzed the causes of risk tolerance and found that loss aversion, or the fear of losing money, is the primary factor that explains investors' risk tolerance.

Read More »

Research Reveals Pervasive Implicit Hierarchies for Race, Religion, and Age

As much as social equality is advocated in the United States, a new study suggests that besides evaluating their own race and religion most favorably, people share implicit hierarchies for racial, religious, and age groups that may be different from their conscious, explicit attitudes and values.

Read More »

Girls who start dieting at a young age are more likely to be obese by 30

New research found that girls who begin dieting at a young age may face health problems later in life.

Read More »

Many depressed preschoolers still suffer in later school years

Children diagnosed with depression as preschoolers are likely to suffer from depression as school-age children and young adolescents, new research shows.

Read More »

Birth weight and breastfeeding have implications for children’s health decades later, study finds

Young adults who were breastfed for three months or more as babies have a significantly lower risk of chronic inflammation associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, according to research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Read More »

Infants smell threats by mother's odor: Study

The sense of smell seems to be behind a mother's ability to pass specific fears to her infant in the first days of life. Scientists believe fear can be passed between generations, with mother to child the primary route.

Read More »

Preterm children's brains can catch up years later

There's some good news for parents of preterm babies - latest research from the University of Adelaide shows that by the time they become teenagers, the brains of many preterm children can perform almost as well as those born at term.

Read More »

First Grade Reading Suffers in Segregated Schools

A groundbreaking study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute has found that African-American students in first grade experience smaller gains in reading when they attend segregated schools-but the students' backgrounds likely are not the cause of the differences.

Read More »

Lifestyle affects risks of developing metabolic syndrome in childhood cancer survivors: Study

Leading a healthy lifestyle may lower childhood cancer survivors' risk of developing the metabolic syndrome, says a study.

Read More »

​Children with Disabilities Benefit from Classroom Inclusion

Language skills improve when preschoolers with disabilities are included in classes with typical peers

Read More »

Preschoolers With Special Needs Benefit From Peers’ Strong Language Skills

The guiding philosophy for educating children with disabilities has been to integrate them as much as possible into a normal classroom environment, with the hope that peers' skills will help bring them up to speed. A new study provides empirical evidence that peers really can have an impact on a child's language abilities, for better or worse.

Read More »

Real Time Analytics