Now UK scientists have modeled the specific physical attributes that underpin our first impressions. Approachable is tied to smiling expressions and unapproachable to frowning or angry expressions, while dominance is tied to masculine features.
Published in the journal PNAS, the results show that the way we see other people may be in relatively simple terms.
A neuroscientist at the University of York said the work added mathematical detail to a well-known phenomenon. Small changes in facial dimensions can make it appear more trustworthy, dominant or attractive. See the BBC article here showing changes in cartoon faces.
But does appearance really tell us about someone's personality?
Scientists are uncovering evidence that some personality traits may be written all over our faces.
Two teenagers have moved close to us with their family. To me, they present a polite and accepting face. Yet a closer neighbor tells me about their unsocial behavior, and my husband has caught them climbing our fence. Maybe time will etch telling lines on their faces and alter their expressions.
Assessing strangers could have important implications for the way we behave, and even how we choose our sexual partners.
Though every person's face is unique, it's generally accepted that there are seven basic face shapes. Oval, square, round, triangle, heart, oblong, and diamond. See which one is yours at the Examiner.
Although I think I can judge a person by their face, I've been tricked and betrayed in the past. What about you?