A stranger's personality traits can be gauged by looking at his photos, says a news study.
Participants were first shown a photograph posed to the researchers' specifications followed by another photograph.
In no time, the participants correctly figured out the self-esteem, ratings of extraversion (gregariousness) and religiosity from the physical appearance.
Those judgments were then compared with how the person and acquaintances rated that individual's personality.
They found that while both poses provided participants with accurate cues about personality, the spontaneous pose showed more insight, including the subject's agreeableness, emotional stability, openness, likeability and loneliness.
"As we predicted, physical appearance serves as a channel through which personality is manifested," wrote study authors Laura P. Naumann, Simine Vazire, Peter J. Rentfrow and Samuel D. Gosling from the Universities of California, Washington, Cambridge and Texas respectively.
"By using full-body photographs and examining a broad range of traits, we identified domains of accuracy that have been overlooked," they added.
"Physical appearance may play a more important role in personality judgment than previously thought," the authors concluded, according to a joint press release of these Universities.
These findings were published in the current issue of Personality and Social Psychology.