"We look like our names: The manifestation of name stereotypes in facial appearance": Addendum to Zwebner et al. (2017)

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2017 Oct;113(4):657. doi: 10.1037/pspa0000096.


Reports an error in "We look like our names: The manifestation of name stereotypes in facial appearance" by Yonat Zwebner, Anne-Laure Sellier, Nir Rosenfeld, Jacob Goldenberg and Ruth Mayo (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2017[Apr], Vol 112[4], 527-554). In the article, there was a minor coding error in the reported results of Study 5. The mean accuracy of Israeli participants matching French faces and names is actually 22.73% (and not 22.48%), and for French participants matching Israeli faces and names, the mean accuracy is actually 26.45% (and not 26.68%). Note that these corrected results do not affect the conclusions, indicating that names are not accurately matched between cultures (French participants and Israeli stimuli, and vice versa). Notably, the interaction remains significant; in both cultures, the probability of accurately matching faces/names from the same culture remains significantly higher than matching faces/names from a different culture, and the accuracies of matching face/names within each culture remain significantly above chance level, while between culture is below or similar to chance. Readers interested in the full-corrected description of the results of Study 5 may contact the first author for details. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2017-08698-001.) Research demonstrates that facial appearance affects social perceptions. The current research investigates the reverse possibility: Can social perceptions influence facial appearance? We examine a social tag that is associated with us early in life-our given name. The hypothesis is that name stereotypes can be manifested in facial appearance, producing a face-name matching effect, whereby both a social perceiver and a computer are able to accurately match a person's name to his or her face. In 8 studies we demonstrate the existence of this effect, as participants examining an unfamiliar face accurately select the person's true name from a list of several names, significantly above chance level. We replicate the effect in 2 countries and find that it extends beyond the limits of socioeconomic cues. We also find the effect using a computer-based paradigm and 94,000 faces. In our exploration of the underlying mechanism, we show that existing name stereotypes produce the effect, as its occurrence is culture-dependent. A self-fulfilling prophecy seems to be at work, as initial evidence shows that facial appearance regions that are controlled by the individual (e.g., hairstyle) are sufficient to produce the effect, and socially using one's given name is necessary to generate the effect. Together, these studies suggest that facial appearance represents social expectations of how a person with a specific name should look. In this way a social tag may influence one's facial appearance. (PsycINFO Database Record