It pays to have a wide face, but only when you're going it alone, according to research by scientists at the University of California, Riverside.
Called “Negotiating face-to-face: Men's facial structure predicts negotiating performance”, the study used a series of negotiation simulations to compare the success of wide-faced and narrow-faced men at securing deals when working as individuals versus working in teams.
When negotiating for themselves, wide-faced men performed better. On average, they secured a signing bonus – the amount that companies offer a new employee as an incentive to join – of nearly $2,200 more than men with narrower faces.
Similarly, they found that when men with wider faces were selling a chemical plant they negotiated a higher sale price than men with narrower faces. When those same wide-faced men were in the buyer role they negotiated a lower price than the narrow-faced men.
However, wider faced men performed worse in situations requiring collaboration with others. One simulation involved teams of two working together to come up with a creative solution for bridging a gap on a real estate transaction, and they found that two wide-faced men working together led to the least successful results.
“These studies show that being a man with a wider face can be both a blessing and a curse and awareness of this may be important for future business success,” said Michael P. Haselhuhn, co-author of the study.
It is not the first time that researchers have uncovered differences between wide-faced and narrow-faced men. The same group of scientists has already conducted experiments to show how men with wide faces are more likely to lie and cheat, run financially successful firms and elicit selfish behaviour in others.