How Strongly Individuals Focus On Faces May Be Linked With Personality And Psychopathology Levels, New Study Finds

Andrey_Arkusha - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

According to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Bern, Switzerland, how strongly an individual prefers to focus on human faces in pictures may be linked to their personality and psychopathology levels.

It is common for people to be allured by other human faces, even in quite chaotic or busy photos.

But, previous research has suggested that specific diagnoses or personality factors play a potential role in how robustly certain individuals prefer to focus on human faces.

So, in this new study, the researchers analyzed how various psychological traits might impact a person’s proclivity to focus on faces.

They first recruited 190 participants– who were primarily students– and instructed the group to view 20 different photographs. Each image showed people in busy environments.

Then, while the participants looked at each photo, the researchers assessed their attention using a cursor-based tool. This essentially blurred every photograph and allowed the image to become clear only within a 20-pixel radius surrounding the cursor.

The participants were able to move this cursor around the photograph, allowing the researchers to see what aspects they focused on.

After this exercise, the participants also completed a questionnaire to assess “the big five” personality traits– including agreeableness, extraversion, openness, neuroticism, and conscientiousness.

Additionally, they were asked about other various facets of psychopathology, such as depression, social anxiety, empathy, alexithymia– or the inability to identify and express emotions– and specific social values.

Andrey_Arkusha – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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