Essay On Physiognomy

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As one of the most anthropological traits, the human facial appearance is strongly influenced by many factors such as genetic inheritance (Peng et al., 2013), ethnicity (Guo et al., 2014), age (Chen et al., 2015), gender, or health (Kramer & Ward, 2010). The facial appearance inclines to be the primary target of attention when one encounters another person (Palermo & Rhodes, 2007). As a result, the human face is conceivably the richest source of social information about another person (Todorov, Said, Engell, & Oosterhof, 2008). It has been used as a source of information ranging from the health state to specific personality traits of its wearer since very ancient civilizations. For example, Mien Shiang that literally means face (mien) and reading (shiang) has a venerated and well-documented history in China…show more content…
In our latitudes, physiognomy formed part of the most ancient practical philosophy. The earliest-known systematic treatise on physiognomy is attributed to Aristotle in 340 BC (Fridlund, 1994). Among the Latin classical authors, Juvenal, Suetonius, and Pliny the Elder refer to the practice of physiognomy. The concept of physiognomy lies in the idea that an individual's character can be accurately judged on the basis of specific facial features (Lavater, 1850). Despite the dismissal of physiognomy as pseudoscience (Alley, 1988; Cohen, 1973; Porter, 2003), a strong belief exists that the facial appearance does provide information about a person's personality, health, and future behavior (Hassin & Trope, 2000; Liggett, 1974). This phenomenon has also been termed as "kernel of truth hypothesis" (Berry & Finch Wero, 1993). Indeed, there is growing body of evidence that suggests that the facial appearance may provide some valid information regarding a person's personality and health. Since faces are processed largely holistically (Tanaka & Farah, 1993), modern research focuses particularly on whole face
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