The Shape Of Your Face May Affect How Much Money You Make

The Shape Of Your Face May Affect How Much Money You Make

Let's face it, being pretty pays. While most people are aware of the correlation between good looks and success in life, new research has found that men's face shape may play a part in their business success.

A new study from researchers at the University of California, Riverside, London Business School and Columbia University found that men with wider faces -- those that have a higher ratio of face width to face height -- negotiated signing bonuses that were approximately $2,200 larger than their narrow-faced peers. The researchers also found that wide-faced men were much better at negotiating business deals for themselves.

For the study, which was published online in The Leadership Quarterly, researchers paired 60 male students and had them negotiate for a hypothetical signing bonus, with one student acting as a mock recruiter and the other as the newly signed employee. The study found that wide-faced men negotiated bonuses that were $2,200 larger on average. The researchers also had 46 MBA students negotiate the sale of a hypothetical piece of real estate. Those with wider faces negotiated significantly higher sale prices when on the seller's side and significantly lower prices when acting as the buyer.

For good measure, here are a few famous faces that fall into both the wide and narrow categories. (Story continues below.)

actor faces
Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Reynolds

reagan paul
Politicians Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul

dell paulson
Business leaders Mike Dell and Henry Paulson

capone lennon
Cultural icons Al Capone and John Lennon

Perhaps surprisingly, this isn't the first time scientists have studied the way success correlates with how wide a person's face is. In 2011, the UC Riverside researchers looked at the width-to-height ratio of the faces of Fortune 500 CEOs and found that CEOs with wider faces generally oversaw stronger financial performance at companies.

In that study, the researchers identified wide-faced General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt as an assertive leader who went against his team to implement sustainability reforms in the mid-2000s, ultimately benefitting both the environment and GE shareholders.

jeffrey immelt
General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt

The researchers also pointed to Herb Kelleher, another wide-faced leader, who oversaw strong financial performance at Southwest Airlines.

herb kelleher
Southwest Airlines co-founder and former CEO Herb Kelleher

Larger facial width-to-height ratios are generally associated with increased levels of testosterone in men, according to Michael Haselhuhn, an assistant professor of management at UC Riverside and a coauthor of the facial-width studies. Men with higher testosterone levels can feel more powerful and dominant, Haselhuhn said.

But having a wide face isn't a golden ticket to success. The researchers found that while the wide-faced men negotiated well individually, they performed worse than narrow-faced men when collaboration with others or compromise were key to closing a deal.

And in another 2011 study from the same UC Riverside team, the researchers found that men with wider faces were more likely act to immorally at work, were more likely to "explicitly deceive their counterparts in a negotiation" and were "more willing to cheat in order to increase their financial gain."

face grid
Researchers assess facial width by measuring the distance between a man's cheeks against the distance between his brow and upper lip. This man has a wide face.

Haselhuhn said that while you can't do anything to change the ratio of your face, you can succeed at work by shifting your behavior.

"Wider-faced men should be aware that others may view them as more competitive, and should therefore make an effort to establish a cooperative environment when they negotiate (if they do, in fact, wish to cooperate with their counterpart)," Haselhuhn told The Huffington Post in an email. "Similarly, narrower-faced negotiators should be aware that they may be viewed as relative 'push-overs' and should be on guard against counterparts who may attempt to take advantage of them."

Regardless of what shape face you have, you may still be influenced by your wide-faced coworkers. According to a different 2013 study from the same researchers, people are less likely to trust their male coworkers with wider faces. In fact, everyone acts more selfishly when they're interacting with wide-faced men, the researchers found in that analysis.

Researchers say these findings don't apply to women. This is because men with wider faces had an evolutionary advantage, making it easier for them to reproduce and be "successful in securing scarce resources from other men in order to support themselves and their offspring," according to Haselhuhn.

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