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Dominance biases in the perception and memory for the faces of powerholders, with consequences for social inferences

Wang, X; Guinote, APS; Krumhuber, E; (2018) Dominance biases in the perception and memory for the faces of powerholders, with consequences for social inferences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology , 78 pp. 23-33. 10.1016/j.jesp.2018.05.003. Green open access

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Abstract

A great deal of research has shown that dominant-looking faces are afforded power. In this research, we tested the reverse link. As such, we examined whether knowledge of a target's power would lead to a dominance bias in face perception. Five studies were conducted by applying face morphing techniques to both controlled facial stimuli and faces of powerholders in the real world. Results showed that faces of powerholders were misrecollected (Studies 1A and 1B) and misperceived (Studies 3A and 3B) as more dominant-looking than their powerless counterparts. In addition, their faces were misrecollected as more prototypically dominant in physical appearance than they actually were (Studies 1A, 1B, and 2). Furthermore, enhanced facial dominance affected social inferences, with evaluations such as competence and attractiveness being sensitive to the gender of the target person (Study 3B). Implications for research on power and face perception are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Dominance biases in the perception and memory for the faces of powerholders, with consequences for social inferences
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2018.05.003
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2018.05.003
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Power, Dominance, Attractiveness, Face perception, Memory, Gender
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10048664
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