The importance of face-shape masculinity for perceptions of male dominance depends on study design

Junzhi Dong, Kathlyne Leger, Victor K. M. Shiramizu, Urszula M. Marcinkowska, Anthony J. Lee, Benedict C. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Dominance perceptions play an important role in social interactions. Although many researchers have proposed that shape masculinity is an important facial cue for dominance perceptions, evidence for this claim has come almost exclusively from studies that assessed perceptions of experimentally manipulated faces using forced-choice paradigms. Consequently, we investigated the role of masculine shape characteristics in perceptions of men's facial dominance (1) when shape-manipulated stimuli were presented in a forced-choice paradigm and (2) when unmanipulated face images were rated for dominance and shape masculinity was measured from face images. Although we observed large effects of masculinity on dominance perceptions when we used the forced-choice method (Cohen's ds = 2.51 and 3.28), the effect of masculinity on dominance perceptions was considerably smaller when unmanipulated face images were rated and shape masculinity measured from face images (Cohen's ds = 0.44 and 0.62). This pattern was observed when faces were rated separately for physical dominance, social dominance, and masculinity, and was seen for two different sets of stimuli. Collectively, these results suggest that shape masculinity may not be a particularly important cue for dominance perceptions when faces vary simultaneously on multiple dimensions, as is the case during everyday social interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12620
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • face-shape
  • masculinity
  • male dominance

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