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A face for all seasons: Searching for context-specific leadership traits and discovering a general preference for perceived health.

Spisak BR, Blaker NM, Lefevre CE, Moore FR, Krebbers KF - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: It was expected that the differing requirements of the four dynamics would contingently select for relatively healthier- or intelligent-looking leaders.We found perceived facial intelligence to be a second-order context-specific trait-for instance, in times requiring a leader to address between-group cooperation-whereas perceived health is significantly preferred across all contexts (i.e., a first-order trait).The results also indicate that facial health positively affects perceived masculinity while facial intelligence negatively affects perceived masculinity, which may partially explain leader choice in some of the environmental contexts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Management and Organization, VU University Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Previous research indicates that followers tend to contingently match particular leader qualities to evolutionarily consistent situations requiring collective action (i.e., context-specific cognitive leadership prototypes) and information processing undergoes categorization which ranks certain qualities as first-order context-general and others as second-order context-specific. To further investigate this contingent categorization phenomenon we examined the "attractiveness halo"-a first-order facial cue which significantly biases leadership preferences. While controlling for facial attractiveness, we independently manipulated the underlying facial cues of health and intelligence and then primed participants with four distinct organizational dynamics requiring leadership (i.e., competition vs. cooperation between groups and exploratory change vs. stable exploitation). It was expected that the differing requirements of the four dynamics would contingently select for relatively healthier- or intelligent-looking leaders. We found perceived facial intelligence to be a second-order context-specific trait-for instance, in times requiring a leader to address between-group cooperation-whereas perceived health is significantly preferred across all contexts (i.e., a first-order trait). The results also indicate that facial health positively affects perceived masculinity while facial intelligence negatively affects perceived masculinity, which may partially explain leader choice in some of the environmental contexts. The limitations and a number of implications regarding leadership biases are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Example of the four face types created by independently manipulated high and low signals of health and intelligence.
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Figure 1: Example of the four face types created by independently manipulated high and low signals of health and intelligence.

Mentions: To sum up the procedure, facial shape was first adjusted to alter perceptions of intelligence, creating high intelligence (Hi) and low intelligence (Li) versions of the base faces. Next, the coloration of Hi and Li facial images where manipulated to create high health (Hh) and low health (Lh) version. This process yielded four face types (i.e., HiHh, LiLh, HiLh, and LiHh; Figure 1). To examine possible thresholds for perceiving difference between health and intelligence we also created medium and strong versions of the four face types by adjusting the transform percentages. Images were then cropped to the outer boundaries of the face. The transforms thus created a total of 32 faces. Four different male composite base faces, of which each had four health/intelligence versions (HiHh, LiLh, HiLh, and LiHh), all of which had a 25% and a 50% transform version (4 * 4 * 2 = 32).


A face for all seasons: Searching for context-specific leadership traits and discovering a general preference for perceived health.

Spisak BR, Blaker NM, Lefevre CE, Moore FR, Krebbers KF - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Example of the four face types created by independently manipulated high and low signals of health and intelligence.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4221639&req=5

Figure 1: Example of the four face types created by independently manipulated high and low signals of health and intelligence.
Mentions: To sum up the procedure, facial shape was first adjusted to alter perceptions of intelligence, creating high intelligence (Hi) and low intelligence (Li) versions of the base faces. Next, the coloration of Hi and Li facial images where manipulated to create high health (Hh) and low health (Lh) version. This process yielded four face types (i.e., HiHh, LiLh, HiLh, and LiHh; Figure 1). To examine possible thresholds for perceiving difference between health and intelligence we also created medium and strong versions of the four face types by adjusting the transform percentages. Images were then cropped to the outer boundaries of the face. The transforms thus created a total of 32 faces. Four different male composite base faces, of which each had four health/intelligence versions (HiHh, LiLh, HiLh, and LiHh), all of which had a 25% and a 50% transform version (4 * 4 * 2 = 32).

Bottom Line: It was expected that the differing requirements of the four dynamics would contingently select for relatively healthier- or intelligent-looking leaders.We found perceived facial intelligence to be a second-order context-specific trait-for instance, in times requiring a leader to address between-group cooperation-whereas perceived health is significantly preferred across all contexts (i.e., a first-order trait).The results also indicate that facial health positively affects perceived masculinity while facial intelligence negatively affects perceived masculinity, which may partially explain leader choice in some of the environmental contexts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Management and Organization, VU University Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Previous research indicates that followers tend to contingently match particular leader qualities to evolutionarily consistent situations requiring collective action (i.e., context-specific cognitive leadership prototypes) and information processing undergoes categorization which ranks certain qualities as first-order context-general and others as second-order context-specific. To further investigate this contingent categorization phenomenon we examined the "attractiveness halo"-a first-order facial cue which significantly biases leadership preferences. While controlling for facial attractiveness, we independently manipulated the underlying facial cues of health and intelligence and then primed participants with four distinct organizational dynamics requiring leadership (i.e., competition vs. cooperation between groups and exploratory change vs. stable exploitation). It was expected that the differing requirements of the four dynamics would contingently select for relatively healthier- or intelligent-looking leaders. We found perceived facial intelligence to be a second-order context-specific trait-for instance, in times requiring a leader to address between-group cooperation-whereas perceived health is significantly preferred across all contexts (i.e., a first-order trait). The results also indicate that facial health positively affects perceived masculinity while facial intelligence negatively affects perceived masculinity, which may partially explain leader choice in some of the environmental contexts. The limitations and a number of implications regarding leadership biases are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus