“The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
Physiognomy is the study of how appearance reveals personality. This dates back to the Greeks from Greek physiognomia “the judging of a person’s nature by his features,” from physio- (see physio- ) + gnomon (genitive gnomonos) “judge, indicator” (see gnomon ).
Some latest scientific discoveries suggest we can correctly predict personality traits and future behavior from facial characteristics and behavioral clues.
It can reveal not only personality but intelligence, and proclivities to aggression and altruism.
In a study at the University of Texas, Austin, researchers photographed more than one hundred students twice. The first image the researchers photographed the student’s entire bodies and posed in any way they wished (spontaneous). The second photo was an expressionless face, with arms at their side and looked directly into the camera (standardized).
These photos were then shown to another set of students and asked to determine their personalities from the both pictures. Surprisingly the accuracy gauged was significant in the spontaneous picture and highly gauged in the standard picture.
The finding of extroverts stood energetically, relaxed, smiled with arms unfolded, and looked more stylish and neat in appearance. The introverts, on the other hand, had a tenser, more tired stance, smiled less, folded their arms, and looks less healthy and messier.
Researchers have found that we need to view a photo for only fifty milliseconds to detect how extroverted a person is and the dominant personality traits.
Although we should never “judge a book by its cover,” the fact of the matter is that we evaluate people by their looks all the time and do it quite well in some cases.
Studying the face researchers have found that judicial courts are more likely to exonerate baby-faced people than more mature looking people. There is even evidence that juries are more likely to impose the death penalty when defendants have certain facial characteristics.
When it comes to attractiveness researchers found women prefer a more symmetrical masculine face where men prefer small chins, full lips, large eyes, high cheek bones, and thin jaws.
Most faces are not symmetrical but analyzing the faces of celebrities Bradley Cooper and Tom Cruise, their faces are almost completely symmetry.
Also researchers showed a silent one-minute video of a person interacting with another to 100 college students which they were able to accurately reveal his or her IQ, GPS, and SAT scores. A 20-second video clip of people listening to others predicted trustworthiness, compassion, and kindness during the clip.
What these studies suggest is that we have instinctual radar. We have intuitions about others that can be extremely accurate in seconds of observation.
These analyses at top universities show that we can predict winners of elections, trustworthiness of corporate CEO’s we invest in, and who will procure the job or part in the movie.
We don’t always know why we choose someone over another but the innate radar, subconscious brain, and conditioning of past experiences are used to base judgments and predictions.
How much could our face determine if we get the job, book the role, or head a Fortune 500 company? Can your facial features determine your fate?
I believe that by working on the inner path of harmony and authenticity we can learn to be more open, more flexible, more trustworthy, and this can be imprinted in ourselves to be reflected on our face.
Heredity can deal the cards but environment (attitude) can play the hand.
Book: The Tell
Author: Matthew Hertenstein