Although many studies have investigated the facial characteristics that influence dominance perceptions, the majority of these studies have focused on the effects of shape information alone. Relatively few studies have investigated the effects of facial surface information for dominance perceptions, and those that have did not typically also consider the role of shape information. Consequently, the relative contribution of facial shape and surface information to dominance perceptions is unclear. To address this issue, we investigated the relationships between dominance ratings of color-calibrated faces and versions of these faces in which either surface information had been standardized (i.e., shape-only versions) or shape information had been standardized (i.e., surface-only versions). For both male and female faces, dominance ratings of the shape-only and surface-only versions independently predicted dominance ratings of the original images. Additionally, ratings of the shape-only and surface-only versions explained similar proportions of the variance in the rated dominance of the original faces. These results indicate that both facial shape and surface information contribute to dominance perceptions, suggesting that it may be important to consider both sources of information in studies of dominance perception.
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