Your eyebrows could reveal how narcissistic you are

By Seriously Science | May 31, 2018 4:51 am
Photo: Wikimedia/Eva Rinaldi

Photo: Wikimedia/Eva Rinaldi

Identifying a narcissist is a handy skill, and these scientists have made it a bit easier by finding that the key to pinpointing a narcissist is… their eyebrows? That’s right, apparently the “distinctiveness” of someone’s eyebrows (for example, how thick or dense they are) is the main cue that they are suffering from “grandiose narcissism”. And speaking of distinctive eyebrows…

Eyebrows Cue Grandiose Narcissism.

Though initially charming and inviting, narcissists often engage in negative interpersonal behaviors. Identifying and avoiding narcissists therefore carries adaptive value. Whereas past research has found that people can judge others’ grandiose narcissism from their appearance (including their faces), the cues supporting these judgments require further elucidation. Here, we investigated which facial features underlie perceptions of grandiose narcissism and how they convey that information.

In Study 1, we explored the face’s features using a variety of manipulations, ultimately finding that accurate judgments of grandiose narcissism particularly depend on a person’s eyebrows. In Studies 2A-2C, we identified eyebrow distinctiveness (e.g., thickness, density) as the primary characteristic supporting these judgments. Finally, we confirmed the eyebrows’ importance in Studies 3A and 3B by measuring how much perceptions of narcissism changed when swapping narcissists’ and non-narcissists’ eyebrows between faces.

Together, these data show that distinctive eyebrows reveal narcissists’ personality to others, providing a basic understanding of the mechanism through which people can identify narcissistic personality traits with potential application to daily life.”

Related content:
Powerful narcissists (ahem) tend towards overconfidence.
Being angry makes a woman look more like a man.
People prefer mates with a 22% resemblance to themselves.

  • Uncle Al

    Psychology does not understand itself. If psychology cannot even run its own life, I’ll be damned if it runs mine. I am no Konrad Lorenz goose.


  • Not_that_anyone_cares, but…

    To me the woman in the picture always looks like a store manikin or something in a wax museum.

  • stargene

    I haven’t read their work. And won’t. The idea that eyebrow thickness
    and density measures narcissism is transparently akin to the much older
    and nonsense practice of measuring the bumps on people’s heads to
    judge their character, or whatever. What does seem to matter is how
    people USE their faces. A certain highest level bumpkin I won’t name
    regularly uses his face to broadcast his narcissism..his expressions
    go, like clockwork, to smug contempt, derision, self-satisfaction…Dare
    I say preening self-adoration? Anger, suspicion and defensiveness
    inhabit this mugging colossus. But neither gentleness, nor consideration, nor civility find shelter in that face.


Seriously, Science?

Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
Follow us on Twitter: @srslyscience.
Send us paper suggestions: srslyscience[at]

See More


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar