Shaved heads more intimidating
When the numbers were tallied, the shaved heads won.In a second experiment, Mannes tried to control for other physical features that could convey dominance by showing his subjects the images of four men, but in two different versions: one with their hair, and one with their hair digitally removed.Men of both cultures judged the bearded men as significantly more aggressive than their clean-shaven counterparts., British psychologists at Northumbria University manipulated men’s facial hair in photographs, giving them five degrees of beard— from clean-shaven to hirsute.They then had 60 women rate them on various attributes—and found that the men with full beards scored highest for perceptions of aggressiveness as well as masculinity.Carney’s and Kerry’s beards have been endlessly debated on Twitter and blogs—Do they convey authority? —but psychologists can tell us how we really perceive men with beards, and why men evolved to grow extraneous hair on their faces in the first place. In their 1997 book , Israeli physiologist Avishag Zahavi and her evolutionary biologist husband Amotz proposed that beards are a costly signal of male competitive ability, since they can easily be grabbed by rivals during fights.According to this theory, a man with a full beard is advertising his confidence in his own fitness: He thinks he can beat his competitors even with the “handicap” of the beard.that bearded men are advertising their healthy immune systems: Beards, like other body hair, are a known breeding ground for parasites.
To test his notion, Mannes structured three experiments.
Defining “social status” as the likelihood/chance that “the person in the photograph was to have a high-ranking social position and command respect over other men in the community,” Dixson and Vasey had men and women estimate the men’s social status on a scale of 0 to 5 based on photos of them in neutral expressions.
The bearded men regularly received higher scores than the clean-shaven ones.
Further evidenceof a link between beards and social status comes from a 2004 paper in the journal of Britain’s Royal Pharmaceutical Society: a survey of male academics at UK universities found that full professors were “significantly more heavily bearded” than lower staff like lecturers and research fellows.
Adolescent boys don’t need scientists to tell them that growing some stubble could help them look less like children, but it turns out the aging effects of a beard don’t disappear later in life.
Again, the images of men without hair were perceived as more dominant — and, much to Mannes’ surprise, also taller and stronger.