Our strongest personality traits can be deduced simply from our facial features, scientists believe.

Research shows those with higher IQs are usually good-looking, while those with wider faces are usually perceived as being more powerful and successful.

There is even evidence that sexual deviancy can be picked up from facial features, with paedophiles more likely to have minor facial flaws.

The new evidence means the judgments we make when we meet strangers – which is usually concluded in less than a tenth of a second – are often accurate.


Mark Fetscherin, professor of international business at Rollins College, Florida, has recently found a link between company profits and the shape of its chief executive’s face.

In his new book, CEO Branding, Mr Fetscherin describes how the executive tended to have wider faces than the average male.

A wider face means that the person is viewed as dominant and successful, Mr Fetscherin said. He also found a positive link between that shape face and the profits of the company.

He told The Sunday Times: ‘Facial width-to-height ratio correlates with real world measures of aggressive and ambitious behavior and is associated with a psychological sense of power.’44444

British researchers found a similar result when they analysed the results of FTSE chief executives.

Jamie Ward, professor of psychology and his co-author Shuaa Alrajih, suggested the underlying factor was high levels of testosterone, which is linked to aggression and the pursuit of dominance. Testosterone can also influence bone and muscle structure.

A typical example might be advertising agency boss Martin Sorrell, who runs WPP, and sportsmen such as Vinnie Jones.

Elsewhere, scientists also believe people can decipher negative attributes from a person’s face. At Cornell University, scientists showed subjects mugshots of those who were guilty and innocent and found the majority could tell them apart.

Researchers have also found that those with a high IQ tend to be better looking.

An example is Kate Beckinsale, who won poetry awards as a teenager , then studied Russian literature and English at Oxford.

Actress Natalie Portman also graduated with a psychology degree from Havard in 2003.

Leslie Zebrowitz, professor of social relations at Brandeis University, near Boston, said the trend was due to the high quality of DNA, with few mutations, that those people have inherited.

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