Little AC, Jones BC, DeBruine LM & Dunbar IM (2013). Accuracy in discrimination of self-reported cooperators using static facial information. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(4): 507-512. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.10.018

People readily ascribe personality traits to others and believe that faces hold important guides to character. Here we examined the relationship between static facial appearance and self-reported cooperation/defection using the prisoner’s dilemma (N = 193). Study 1 combined face images of those self-reporting they would be most and least likely to cooperate. The composites of cooperative individuals were seen as more cooperative. Study 2 demonstrated accuracy with ratings of individual faces. Masculinity of face shape was negatively related to self-reported cooperation for men, but not women. Further, ratings of smile intensity were positively, but not significantly, related to self-reported cooperation. Overall, individuals appear able judge the potential of others to cooperate from static facial appearance alone at rates greater than chance.

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