The Influence of Facial Dominance on Perceptions of Risk-Taking Preferences

Shlomo Hareli, Erez Vider, Yaniv Hanoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Higher perceived dominance leads to greater perceived risk-taking willingness. This, both for people differing in facial dominance (Study 1) and people whose dominance was digitally manipulated (Study 2). Yet, the effect of facial dominance varied to some degree across domains. Gender differences also emerged and these fitted stereotypes. Women were judged as less likely to take financial or recreational risks but more likely (Study 1) or as likely as men (Study 2) to take social risks. The assumption that perceived optimism and/or perceived competence mediate the effect of facial dominance on perceived risk-preferences was not supported. Overall, this research exemplifies the importance of considering the way cues such as dominance may have a differential effect in specific contexts. Our findings also challange the idea that assessment of risk-taking tendencies based on facial dominance serves the goal of determining male quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-306
Number of pages24
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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