The Role of Facial Contour in Perception of Individual Psychological Features of a Person



In this article we present the results of 4 experiments, dedicated to study of the influence of the facial contours of a person on the perception of that person’s individual psychological features. 5 morphotypes of faces of real people were designed by computer program (square, rectangular, round, lozenge and triangular), which were demonstrated to the participants of the experiments randomly. Individual psychological features of participants were assessed with the help of the Personality Differential method. It’s showed that compared to artificially generated morphotypes, individual psychological features of people with natural facial configurations perceive more adequately. A person’s facial shape exerts a selective influence on his perceived psychological characteristics. People with a round shaped face are assessed most accurately, the least accurate - with the diamond. Adequacy of assessment of people with a square, rectangular and triangular configuration of the face was not significantly different. Perceptions of the psychological characteristics of people on the isolated contour (internal structure not available) were more adequate than the holistic morphotypes subjects. Use of information about individual psychological properties of people, concluded in contours, was mediated in the process of interpersonal perception by the perception of the constitution of their body.

General Information

Keywords: physiognomy, individual psychological characteristics of personality, interpersonalperception, morphotypes of face, constitution of the body, HE-concept, self-concept, resonance of personality traits, projection, introjection, attribution

Journal rubric: Psychology of Perception

For citation: Barabanschikov V.A., Diveev D.A. The Role of Facial Contour in Perception of Individual Psychological Features of a Person. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2009. Vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 47–66. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Vladimir A. Barabanschikov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Director, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Dean of the Faculty of Psychology, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Dmitry A. Diveev, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of the Department of General Psychology, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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