In a Group, Who’s Perceived To Be Dominant? Tall, Mid-Thirty and Male

Carlota Batres PhD Candidate at the Perception Lab School of Psychology and Neuroscience University of St Andrews Interview with:
Carlota Batres
PhD Candidate at the Perception Lab
School of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of St Andrews


Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:  Dominance in men is associated with a variety of social outcomes, ranging from high rank attainment of cadets in the military to high levels of sexual activity in teenage boys. Dominant men are also favored as leaders during times of intergroup conflict and are more successful leaders in the business world. Therefore, we wanted to investigate what exactly it is that makes a face look dominant.

Our main finding was that maximum dominance was achieved by increasing perceived height and masculinity while maintaining a man’s age at around 35 years.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: We also examined how facial cues to height, masculinity, and age influence perceptions of each other and found significant overlap. This suggests that studies investigating the effects of one of these traits in isolation may need to account for the influence of the other two traits.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Going forward, we would like to extend this research to women and investigate what makes a female face look dominant and how that influences social outcomes.


Carlota Batres et al. Influence of Perceived Height, Masculinity, and Age on Each Other and on Perceptions of Dominance in Male Faces.Perception, August 2015 DOI: 10.1177/0301006615596898 is not a forum for the exchange of personal medical information, advice or the promotion of self-destructive behavior (e.g., eating disorders, suicide). While you may freely discuss your troubles, you should not look to the Website for information or advice on such topics. Instead, we recommend that you talk in person with a trusted medical professional.

The information on is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.


Carlota Batres (2015). In a Group, Who’s Perceived To Be Dominant? Tall, Mid-Thirty and Male 

Last Updated on August 19, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD