Posts Tagged: Anthropometry


28
Jan 10

Face Of A Fighter

One of the topics that interests me is the science around fighting and fighting prowess. This study is thus of interest. It presents evidence that people can, in a nut shell, tell if someone is “tough” just based on looking at their faces.

These findings will not be surprising to fighters, I suspect. Who (based on my personal experience) can usually tell who else is a fighter.

(It’s an open access paper, so everyone can read it.)

"Human adaptations for the visual assessment of strength and fighting ability from the body and face"…

Abstract

Selection in species with aggressive social interactions favours the evolution of cognitive mechanisms for assessing physical formidability (fighting ability or resource-holding potential). The ability to accurately assess formidability in conspecifics has been documented in a number of non-human species, but has not been demonstrated in humans. Here, we report tests supporting the hypothesis that the human cognitive architecture includes mechanisms that assess fighting ability—mechanisms that focus on correlates of upper-body strength. Across diverse samples of targets that included US college students, Bolivian horticulturalists and Andean pastoralists, subjects in the US were able to accurately estimate the physical strength of male targets from photos of their bodies and faces. Hierarchical linear modelling shows that subjects were extracting cues of strength that were largely independent of height, weight and age, and that corresponded most strongly to objective measures of upper-body strength—even when the face was all that was available for inspection. Estimates of women’s strength were less accurate, but still significant. These studies are the first empirical demonstration that, for humans, judgements of strength and judgements of fighting ability not only track each other, but accurately track actual upper-body strength.

(Emphasis mine.)

UPDATE: I have two followups to this after I read the paper more thoroughly….


16
Jan 10

American Democrats and Republicans actually look different

An interesting paper…

Democrats and Republicans Can Be Differentiated from Their Faces

Nicholas O. Rule*, Nalini Ambady
[...]

Abstract
Background

Individuals’ faces communicate a great deal of information about them. Although some of this information tends to be perceptually obvious (such as race and sex), much of it is perceptually ambiguous, without clear or obvious visual cues.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we found that individuals’ political affiliations could be accurately discerned from their faces. In Study 1, perceivers were able to accurately distinguish whether U.S. Senate candidates were either Democrats or Republicans based on photos of their faces. Study 2 showed that these effects extended to Democrat and Republican college students, based on their senior yearbook photos. Study 3 then showed that these judgments were related to differences in perceived traits among the Democrat and Republican faces. Republicans were perceived as more powerful than Democrats. Moreover, as individual targets were perceived to be more powerful, they were more likely to be perceived as Republicans by others. Similarly, as individual targets were perceived to be warmer, they were more likely to be perceived as Democrats.

Conclusions/Significance

These data suggest that perceivers’ beliefs about who is a Democrat and Republican may be based on perceptions of traits stereotypically associated with the two political parties and that, indeed, the guidance of these stereotypes may lead to categorizations of others’ political affiliations at rates significantly more accurate than chance guessing.

(Emphasis mine.)

(Link)

(H/T Dienekes Pontikos)