E-perceptions and business ‘mating’: the communication effects of the relative width of males’ faces in business portraits

Eveline van Zeeland*, Jörg Henseler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This study investigates the relative impacts of the facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) on the first impressions business professionals form of business consultants when seeing their photographs on a corporate website or LinkedIn page. By applying conjoint analysis on field experiment data (n = 381), we find that in a zero-acquaintance situation business professionals prefer low-fWHR business consultants. This implies that they prefer a face that communicates trustworthiness to one that communicates success. Further, we have investigated the words that business professionals use to describe their preferred consultant. These approach motivations help practitioners to improve the picture-text alignment. The results underline the necessity to critically assess the pictures and text used on websites and media platforms such as LinkedIn for business purposes, and to see them as a key element of business and self-communication that can be altered in order to improve business ‘mating.’

Original languageEnglish
Article number605926
JournalFrontiers in psychology
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2021


  • Facial metrics
  • Nonverbal cues
  • Online impression management
  • Conjoint analysis
  • Business mating
  • non-verbal cues
  • conjoint analysis
  • facial metrics
  • online impression management
  • business mating


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