Different cues of personality and health from the face and gait of womenEvolutionary Psychology 10(2): 271-295
Redundant cues for attractiveness in humans have been identified, but the idea of multiple systems displaying different socially-relevant traits has yet to be extensively examined. We compared the accuracy with which observers could identify socially-relevant information of female targets, both from static images of their faces, and from point-light displays of their gait. Perception of extraversion was at chance. However, agreeableness and sociosexuality were more accurately perceived from the face than gait, while physical health showed the opposite pattern. This double dissociation suggests different information can be carried in different modalities. In addition, partial correlation analyses suggested that even when both modalities allowed accurate trait identification, the information content was different. Our results demonstrate that cues of different socially-relevant traits are communicated more effectively through different modalities, and these modality-specific cues contain distinctive information, supporting a “multiple messages” hypothesis.
cues, face, gait, personality, health