Attribution of social dominance and maleness to schematic faces

Carl Senior, J. Barnes, R. Jenkins, S. Landau, M.L. Phillips, A.S. David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report findings which suggest perception of 'higher order' attributes such as gender and social dominance are perceived from a schematic face. To investigate a large population, the first two experiments were carried out in both the traditional manner and on the Internet. Results obtained from both were not significantly different so the data sets were combined. Lowered eyebrow position was a strong indicator of both social dominance and the male gender. A schematic face with a sad mouth resulted in the face's being viewed as less dominant and less male. Eyegaze direction also was investigated and discussed in terms of dyadic influence. Evidence supported the assumption that both social dominance and the male gender are perceived through similar facial configurations on a schematic face. Limitations include the use of schematic face pairs, and the presentation of single faces in research is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-338
Number of pages8
JournalSocial behavior and personality
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • perception
  • higher order attributes
  • gender dominance
  • social dominance
  • schematic face
  • eyegaze direction
  • dyadic influence
  • facial configurations


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