Universals and cultural differences in forming personality trait judgments from faces

  • Walker M
  • Jiang F
  • Vetter T
 et al. 
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Abstract

Previous research has shown high cross-cultural consensus in personality trait judgments based on faces. However, the information that was provided in these studies included extrafacial features, such as hairstyle or clothes. Such styling information can be intentionally chosen by target persons to express who they are. Using a well-developed and validatedWestern facemodel, we were able to formalize the static facial information that is used to make certain personality trait judgments, namely, aggressiveness, extroversion, likeability, risk seeking, social skills, and trustworthiness judgments. We manipulated this informa- tion in photographs of Asian and Western faces with natural-looking results. Asian and Western participants identified the enhanced salience of all different personality traits in the faces. Asian participants, however, needed more time for this task. Moreover, faces with enhanced salience of aggressiveness, extroversion, social skills, and trustworthiness were better identified by Western than by Asian participants.

Author-supplied keywords

  • culture
  • faces
  • impression formation
  • trait judgments

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