Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

man in business suit, holding tie

David Stuart Wiggs

Here's an offbeat tip for men looking to successfully negotiate a signing bonus: have a fat face.

Possessing a wider face is a plus for males when they negotiate for themselves in business situations, according to a paper recently published in The Leadership Quarterly.

The two lead authors -- Micheal Haselhuhn and Elaine Wong, assistant management professors at the University of California, Riverside -- say that four studies indicate that men with greater facial width-to-height ratios are less co-operative negotiators than men with smaller facial ratios.

Story continues below advertisement

That makes them better at squeezing out higher value when wheeling-and-dealing with other men, but lousier when it comes to finding creative agreements that benefit all negotiating partners, the paper says.

In one simulation parley among undergraduate students, called "The Bonus," the men with broader facial features locked in almost $11,000 (U.S.), compared with only about $8,700 for those without.

In another exercise among MBA students in a negotiating course, the wider-visaged men were more successful at getting a higher sale price for a chemical plant than their narrower-faced colleagues.

Reversing the roles -- thicker-faced men acting as the buyers -- a lower price was agreed upon than in those scenarios where the purchasers had more tapered heads.

But that self-interested mindset among males with greater facial width-to-height ratios (fWHRs) is harmful in negotiations requiring creative solutions aimed at bridging the gap between the two sides' positions, the authors say.

A related finding was that men who are more attractive are better at collaboration than less attractive men.

The researchers don't have an easy answer to why the wider-face/better negotiator correlation should exist, but they point out that fWHR is a physical trait associated with aggressive behaviour.

Story continues below advertisement

"Men with greater fWHRs are more likely to react aggressively to a perceived slight by others, and hockey players with greater facial ratios are more likely to be penalized in hockey games than are men with smaller facial ratios," the paper says.

That in turn, could explain research suggesting that fWHR is related to testosterone levels in men, it says.

The fWHR measure does not appear to be predictive of any changes in behavioural or psychological outcomes in women.

In a paper published in 2012, the two lead authors suggested that the heightened self-interest and aggression shown by men with greater facial ratios were more likely to deceive others in a negotiation as well as more likely to cheat to boost their financial gain.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies