What’s in a picture? The impact of face-ism on trait attribution

Previous research indicates that the media tend to represent men with their faces, whereas women's depictions include larger parts of their bodies, rendering their faces less prominent. To explore the impact of facial prominence on impression formation, 87 male and 84 female West German 14-17 yr olds received either full-body or portrait-style photographs, made from the same negatives, of male and female stimulus persons of different likeability. Ss evaluated all stimulus persons as more competent (e.g., intelligent, assertive, ambitious) if presented with a high (portrait) rather than a low (full-body photograph) degree of facial prominence. Thus, the media's “face-ism” bias is likely to contribute to a perception of men as more competent than women. (French & German abstracts) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)