Personality Impressions from Facial Appearance

Alexander T. Todorov, Christopher C. Said, Sara C. Verosky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


The study of personality inferences from facial appearance has a long history in psychology. This article demonstrates several lines of research on personality impressions from faces. It reviews research on the accuracy of these impressions and the social consequences of these impressions. It shows that people can make a variety of trait inferences after extremely brief exposures to emotionally neutral faces, suggesting that such inferences are made automatically. The automaticity of forming these impressions and recent patient and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies exploring the neural basis of these impressions are discussed. The article describes dimensional approaches to personality impressions from faces and potential sources of individual differences in evaluation of faces. It reviews evidence from data-driven methods and inferences along these dimensions are based on similarity to expressions signaling approach/avoidance behaviors and features signaling physical strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Face Perception
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191743672
ISBN (Print)9780199559053
StatePublished - Nov 21 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


  • Data-driven methods
  • Facial appearance
  • Neural basis
  • Personality impressions
  • Social consequences


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