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Psychol Sci. 2012 Jul 1;23(7):718-22. doi: 10.1177/0956797611435133. Epub 2012 May 23.

Face structure predicts cooperation: men with wider faces are more generous to their in-group when out-group competition is salient.

Author information

  • 1University of St Andrews, St Mary’s Quad, St Andrews, KY16 9AJ, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom. michael@perceptionlab.com

Abstract

Male facial width-to-height ratio appears to correlate with antisocial tendencies, such as aggression, exploitation, cheating, and deception. We present evidence that male facial width-to-height ratio is also associated with a stereotypically male prosocial tendency: to increase cooperation with other in-group members during intergroup competition. We found that men who had wider faces, compared with men who had narrower faces, showed more self-sacrificing cooperation to help their group members when there was competition with another group. We propose that this finding makes sense given the evolutionary functions of social helpfulness and aggression.

PMID:
22623509
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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