Journal article

A thin slice of violence: distinguishing violent from nonviolent sex offenders at a glance

Tyler F Stillman, Jon K Maner, Roy F Baumeister

EVOLUTION AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR | ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC | Published : 2010

Abstract

A growing body of literature in evolutionary psychology suggests that person perception processes are adaptively tuned. The current investigation tested the hypothesis that people would be able to detect a propensity for violence in other people, based only on a brief glance at their face. Participants estimated the propensity for violence in 87 registered sex offenders after seeing photos of them for 2 s each. Estimated likelihood of violence was significantly related to actual violent history, suggesting that violent tendencies can be accurately inferred from a brief look at a person's face. Cues indicative of high masculinity and high levels of male sex hormones (heavy brow, general facia..

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