What is written on our faces?

To predict what we will make the first impression on others, you can use the normal range. The fact that the dimensions and proportions of facial features define what qualities we tend to attribute to the holder of that person. Quite eerie discovery, if you think about it.

What is written on our faces?

Earlier studies - a method of brain imaging - has found that the first impression of a man formed a tenth of a second, so is perceived by us as an automatic, intuitive. But what kind of work does a brain over the millisecond? Neuropsychologists from the University of York (UK), led by Professor Andy Young (Andrew W. Young) and Dr. Tom Hartley (Tom Hartley) have taken an important step toward answering this question. The study is published in the July issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

In their experiment, they relied on three qualities of scale, which has been found by previous studies, taken together, form an impression about the people. The first scale - "Attitude" This man wants to harm me or do a good deed? The second - "youthful / attraction" by which we evaluate the man as a suitable romantic partner or a worthy opponent / rival in love affairs. The third - "dominance": Is this person in a position to realize their intentions, whether good or bad, in relation to me?

What is written on our faces?

The researchers gathered in the social networks a thousand photos of people - of different sexes, ages, captured in different situations, with different facial expressions, from different angles, in different lighting conditions, with different quality photos. The only thing that was common in the depicted in the photographs - belonging to the European race, because otherwise the result could affect racial and ethnic prejudices. All persons carefully measured on 65 parameters, such as, for example, "eyebrows thickness" and "width of the mouth."

Then, six volunteers examined all those pictures and ranked his impressions of people on them on three scales. Then it went artificial neural network - a computer model simulating the human brain. This emulator "learned" Us subjective assessments of people in the photos with the measured parameters and characteristics identified that are responsible for our perception of human faces.

The same process is carried out in reverse order, confirmed the findings: based on artificial brain data related to certain characteristics of people with certain personality traits, were drawn schematic drawings, which are produced in living people (this time other than those that were assessed photos) that impression, which was expected.

A key factor in the assessment of goodwill or malevolent smile appeared - that is, expression that at least we can control. With two other scales do something very difficult. About "youthful appearance / appeal", as it turned out, people are judged by the eyes and the area around the eyes. About dominance - either masculine traits, such as the shape of the jaw, the height of the eyebrows or the severity of the cheeks, or on the texture and skin tone that are associated with flowering kind and healthy tan. The practical consequences of the identified Yang, Hartley and colleagues laws go much further explanation of our reactions to the photos that we place on social networks or send to potential employers, attaching them to the summary. Suffice it to think, for example, the work of the jury or of the elections and the opportunity to influence their outcome by offering voters a candidate with a more or less "suitable" person. "Confirming that you can not judge a book by its cover, more than enough, and yet we all do it", - said Tom Hartley.

* Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, July 2014