The relationship between facial structure and personality characteristics

British Journal of Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.76). 10/1981; 20(Pt 3):151-60. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8309.1981.tb00526.x
Source: PubMed


A variety of findings in the fields of constitutional personality theory, person perception, emotion, and orthodontic dentistry suggest there may be a relationship between personality dimensions and facial structure. Twenty subjects with long, angular faces and 20 subjects with short, square faces were selected on the basis of a radiographic study of their facial structure. The subjects completed a biographical data sheet and took Forms A and B of the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire. Subjects with long, angular faces were found to be more responsive, assertive, and genuine than subjects with short, square faces who were more restrained, conforming, and shrewd. The results of the study were compared with findings in the somatotype literature linking body size and shape with personality traits. The role of genetic factors underlying facial structure and personality attributes, the development of behaviour patterns based on social stereotypes about facial shape, and the effect of postural sets on facial form during maturation were discussed. Suggestions were made for further research utilizing EMG recordings and developmental observations.

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