That's consistent with another finding by the Riverside team. Haselhuhn and his colleague, Elaine Wong, compared the width of the faces of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and found that companies led by a man with a wider face were much more likely to be financially successful.
Haselhuhn concedes that there is much more at work there than just the width of one man's face. How the boss interacts with his other executives, whether the company has a good product, and probably luck play important roles.
But if the guy has a wider-than-average face, is that likely to influence the behavior of his subordinates? The latest Riverside study says yes.
Nearly 800 persons in the U.S. and England took part in four studies designed to measure selfishness and trust worthiness. They played games in which they could distribute money to themselves and another person.
"They could divide things equally, they could choose to get more money for themselves, or they could choose to be really competitive and just make sure they got way more than the other person," Haselhuhn said.
After completing the experiments, photographs were taken and the width-to-height facial ratio was determined.
Not only were the wider-faced guys more likely to claim as much of the wealth as possible for themselves, if the partners thought the other guy had a wider face, or had been told he was likely to be aggressive, they reacted in kind.
Thus greed incites greed in others, and something as simple as the width of a human face may play a role in that.