Wide Faced Men Could Be Leading You Astray: Discover the Surprising Impact of Facial Width on Behavior

Can the presence of certain individuals cause you to act differently, even without verbal communication? Research from the University of California at Riverside indicates that being surrounded by men with wide faces may lead to a decline in your behavior. In a series of four studies, researchers discovered that people are more likely to behave selfishly with men who have wider faces, which, in turn, can elicit selfish behavior from others.

Previously, the scientists from California found evidence that men with wider faces are more prone to unethical behavior. This then begs the question, can a person’s face shape truly be an indicator of their character?

The Connection between Wide Faces and Unethical Behavior

The findings suggest that individuals with wide faces are perceived as more dominant and aggressive, potentially leading others to act in selfish and unethical ways in their presence. This idea stems from the evolutionary concept that facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) is linked to testosterone levels. Therefore, individuals with wider faces may exhibit more aggressive behavior due to their higher testosterone levels. Previous studies have also found a correlation between fWHR and aggression in sports, where athletes with wider faces are more likely to break rules and engage in unethical conduct.

Impact of Wide Faces in Organizations

Corporate environments may be particularly susceptible to the negative influence of wide-faced individuals. Researchers argue that companies should proceed with caution when appointing a CEO with a wide face, as they believe their appearance may foster unethical behavior among employees. Although it may seem unreasonable to judge someone based on their facial features, the influence of a leader’s presence should not be underestimated.

“We don’t expect organizations to select their CEO based on the shape of their face, but first impressions do matter,” warns researcher Elaine M. Wong, who also argues that her studies show men with wide faces are more likely to lie and cheat.

The Role of Stereotyping and Bias

We must also consider the role of stereotyping and bias when interpreting these findings. By placing emphasis on physical attributes, we may inadvertently perpetuate harmful stereotypes that have no basis in reality. It is important to recognize that many factors contribute to an individual’s behavior, and reducing someone’s character to their physical appearance can be misleading and unfair. Ultimately, one must determine whether they believe that nature or nurture has a bigger impact on one’s actions and personality.

Understanding and Overcoming Negative Influences

Although the idea of wide faces holding some sort of power over our behavior may seem far-fetched, it is important to pay attention to any potential negative influences in our lives. By being aware of our susceptibility to factors that can encourage selfish behavior, we can strive to maintain our integrity and make ethical decisions based on our own principles.

When interacting with others, it is essential to avoid judging them based on their appearance and remember that everyone has their own unique set of experiences and influences. The more we can overcome our biases and treat others with empathy and respect, the better equipped we will be to resist any potential negative influences and foster a more compassionate society.


While the University of California at Riverside’s research highlights a correlation between wide faces and unethical behavior, it is imperative not to generalize these findings to all men with wide faces. Numerous aspects of an individual’s background, including upbringing, education, and personal experiences, contribute to their overall disposition and behavior.

Inspiring change and promoting ethical behavior within organizations and society as a whole is not about singling out individuals based on their appearance, but rather creating a culture of honesty and transparency. Recognizing the potential for negative subconscious influences and striving to overcome them can help cultivate a more ethical and accepting environment for everyone.

As always, it is crucial to critically evaluate research and explore both sides of the debate. While the studies discussed in this article make a curious case for the potential impact of wide faces on behavior, one must consider the role of personal bias, stereotypes, and other contributing factors when attempting to understand and predict human behavior.