The big man with the big mouth. YOU and your big mouth — are destined for greatness. People with wide mouths are seen as better leaders than people with narrow mouths, and actually perform better in real-world tests of leadership effectiveness in business and politics, according to a study…
YOU and your big mouth — are destined for greatness.
People with wide mouths are seen as better leaders than people with narrow mouths, and actually perform better in real-world tests of leadership effectiveness in business and politics, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.
The authors state that while previous studies have found facial appearance can predict both the selection and performance of leaders, little is known about the specific facial features responsible.
“One possible feature is mouth width, which correlates with the propensity for physical combat in primates and could therefore be linked to one’s perceived dominance and achievement of greater social rank,” they write.
The authors, Daniel E. Re and Nicholas O. Rule from the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto in Canada, investigated this theory with a series of experimental and naturalistic studies focused on measuring the width of leaders’ mouths, PsyPost reports.
The first study involved showing a group of men and women a series of 50 photos of male faces and asking them to rate how successful each would be as a leader. They found faces with wider mouths were rated more highly.
A second and third study involved measuring the size of real-world business and political leaders’ mouths in relation to their real-world success, measured by annual company profits over a five-year period or electoral success.
The authors conclude that people associate wide mouths with better leadership due to a deep-seated primal instinct from a time when it was a key physical characteristic in establishing social dominance.
They point out that while it’s not the most important factor in determining leadership success, there is evidence that people continue to respond to this aspect of facial appearance — probably without even knowing it.
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