Dominance biases in the perception and memory for the faces of powerholders, with consequences for social inferences

Xijing Wang, Ana Guinote, Eva G. Krumhuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A great deal of research has shown that dominant-looking faces are afforded power. In this research, we tested the reverse link. As such, we examined whether knowledge of a target's power would lead to a dominance bias in face perception. Five studies were conducted by applying face morphing techniques to both controlled facial stimuli and faces of powerholders in the real world. Results showed that faces of powerholders were misrecollected (Studies 1A and 1B) and misperceived (Studies 3A and 3B) as more dominant-looking than their powerless counterparts. In addition, their faces were misrecollected as more prototypically dominant in physical appearance than they actually were (Studies 1A, 1B, and 2). Furthermore, enhanced facial dominance affected social inferences, with evaluations such as competence and attractiveness being sensitive to the gender of the target person (Study 3B). Implications for research on power and face perception are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume78
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

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trend
social attraction
Research
Social Dominance
stimulus
human being
Mental Competency
gender
evaluation
Power (Psychology)
Facial Recognition

Keywords

  • Attractiveness
  • Dominance
  • Face perception
  • Gender
  • Memory
  • Power

Cite this

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Dominance biases in the perception and memory for the faces of powerholders, with consequences for social inferences. / Wang, Xijing; Guinote, Ana; Krumhuber, Eva G.

In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 78, 01.09.2018, p. 23-33.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Wang, Xijing

AU - Guinote, Ana

AU - Krumhuber, Eva G.

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