Skeptics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientific skepticism. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Has there been any research in criminology, psychology, or some other related field? Something that shows a correlation between the everyday facial expression someone wears on their face, and whether they have murdered someone? In the absence of research, is there at least an expert opinion?

share|improve this question
Related! – David Hedlund May 19 '11 at 6:45
@David: In S8E8 Old People of Penn & Teller's Bullshit! they interviewed the author of the website. They declared him an a--hole. I wouldn't take the link for serious. – Martin Scharrer May 19 '11 at 13:44
@Martin: haha, no, it's a comedy site, alright. There's nothing serious about it, but it's got a lot of gems. He has also made a wonderful parody of the conspiracy video 'loose change' – David Hedlund May 19 '11 at 13:50 - "Any fool could look at 11-year-old Voldemort and know he was going to grow up to be a mass murderer" - Jack B Nimble – Dr. Nobody Dec 20 '12 at 21:35

The field of trying to work out a person's personality from their face is called Physiognomy.

Wikipedia claims:

It is now being revived again as some new research indicates that people's faces can indicate such traits as trustworthiness, social dominance and aggression. The latter trait seems to be determined by the level of the hormone testosterone during puberty, which affects the ratio between the height and width of the face - aggressive individuals are found to have wider faces.

There are references there about detecting people's political preferences too.

I would expect (without evidence) that detecting criminality would be swamped more by factors of clothes, cosmetics (including hairstyles and tattoos) and racial profiling than actual facial characteristics.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.