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Wimp or warrior? It’s all in the face

A recent study has found that men and women alike can determine, with surprising accuracy, how strong a man is merely by looking at a photograph of his face. Why is this useful? Because if you’re being confronted by an angry man, it might be nice to know just how strong he is—that is, how much of a threat he is.


In the study, the men’s strength was measured on weight-lifting machines then compared to the assessments made from the pictures viewed. Researchers found that perceptions of fighting ability and strength reflected the actual strength of the subjects. These predictions were accurate even when everything except the men’s faces were blocked from view in the photos, say researchers at the University of California–Santa Barbara.


Scientists are now trying to determine what the visual cue is that explains this accuracy. They postulate it’s the heavier brow and thicker jaw that are the result of increased testosterone. There’s a good chance testosterone helps prepare the body for battle, they say, and can be seen in the face.

Remember, Don’t be a victim!




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