Facing a psychopath
Is facial structure a valid cue of the dark triad of personality (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy)? I obtained self-reports and peer reports of personality as well as expression-neutral photographs of targets, and then I created prototypes of people high and low on each of the three dimensions by digitally combining select photographs of Caucasian targets. The results indicated that unacquainted observers reliably detected the dark triad composite, especially in female prototypes. Thus, not only is the dark triad a set of psycho-social characteristics—it may also be a set of physical–morphological characteristics. In the Discussion, I introduce a website that stores these personality prototypes and many others (http://www.nickholtzman.com/faceaurus.htm).Highlights► Are faces valid cues of dark triad traits, such as psychopathy? ► I obtained self and peer reports of personality. ► I digitally combined targets’ photographs to create prototypes of each personality. ► Observers reliably detected the dark triad.