Personality Impressions from Facial Appearance

Alexander T. Todorov, Christopher C. Said and Sara C. Verosky

in Oxford Handbook of Face Perception

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199559053
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Personality Impressions from Facial Appearance

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The study of personality inferences from facial appearance has a long history in psychology. This article demonstrates several lines of research on personality impressions from faces. It reviews research on the accuracy of these impressions and the social consequences of these impressions. It shows that people can make a variety of trait inferences after extremely brief exposures to emotionally neutral faces, suggesting that such inferences are made automatically. The automaticity of forming these impressions and recent patient and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies exploring the neural basis of these impressions are discussed. The article describes dimensional approaches to personality impressions from faces and potential sources of individual differences in evaluation of faces. It reviews evidence from data-driven methods and inferences along these dimensions are based on similarity to expressions signaling approach/avoidance behaviors and features signaling physical strength.

Keywords: personality impressions; facial appearance; neural basis; social consequences; data-driven methods

Article.  12045 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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