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Self-fulfilling prophecies as a link between men’s facial width-to-height ratio and behavior




Organisational Behaviour

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Authors / Editors

Haselhuhn M P;Wong E M;Ormiston M E

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The facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) has been identified as a reliable predictor of men’s behavior, with researchers focusing on evolutionary selection pressures as the underlying mechanism explaining these relationships. In this paper, we complement this approach and examine the extent to which social processes also determine the extent to which men’s fWHR serves as a behavioral cue. Specifically, we propose that observers’ treatment of target men based on the targets’ fWHR subsequently affects behavior, leading the targets to behave in ways that are consistent with the observers’ expectations (i.e., a self-fulfilling prophecy). Results from four studies demonstrate that individuals behave more selfishly when interacting with men with greater fWHRs, and this selfish behavior, in turn, elicits selfish behavior in others.

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