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Personality and facial morphology: Links to assertiveness and neuroticism in capuchins (Sapajus [Cebus] apella)

Wilson, V.; Lefevre, C. E.; Morton, F. B.; Brosnan, S. F.; Paukner, A.; Bates, T. C.


V. Wilson

C. E. Lefevre

S. F. Brosnan

A. Paukner

T. C. Bates


Personality has important links to health, social status, and life history outcomes (e.g. longevity and reproductive success). Human facial morphology appears to signal aspects of one's personality to others, raising questions about the evolutionary origins of such associations (e.g. signals of mate quality). Studies in non-human primates may help to achieve this goal: for instance, facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) in the male face has been associated with dominance not only in humans but also in capuchin monkeys. Here we test the association of personality (assertiveness, openness, attentiveness, neuroticism, and sociability) with fWHR, face width/lower-face height, and lower face/face height ratio in 64 capuchins (Sapajus apella). In a structural model of personality and facial metrics, fWHR was associated with assertiveness, while lower face/face height ratio was associated with neuroticism (erratic vs. stable behaviour) and attentiveness (helpfulness vs. distractibility). Facial morphology thus appears to associate with three personality domains, which may act as a signal of status in capuchins. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Wilson, V., Lefevre, C. E., Morton, F. B., Brosnan, S. F., Paukner, A., & Bates, T. C. (2014). Personality and facial morphology: Links to assertiveness and neuroticism in capuchins (Sapajus [Cebus] apella). Personality and individual differences, 58, 89-94.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 13, 2013
Online Publication Date Nov 9, 2013
Publication Date 2014-02
Deposit Date Oct 22, 2020
Journal Personality and Individual Differences
Print ISSN 0191-8869
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 58
Pages 89-94
Keywords Capuchin; Personality; Face morphology; Sapajus; Assertiveness; Neuroticism; Attentiveness
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