Washington, Jan 11 : When it comes to running a leading national corporation, it is the Chief Executive Officers' (CEOs) face that matters and not his or her qualifications, says a new study based on America's top companies.
The study, conducted by Tufts University, stated that the performance levels of America's top companies could be related to the first impressions made by their CEOs.
In the study, psychologists Nicholas Rule and Nalini Ambady used the photographs of the highest and lowest ranked Fortune 1000 companies' CEOs, and quizzed ordinary college students to determine which of the pictured faces were characteristic of a leader.
Without knowledge of the pictured individuals' job titles, and by rating the faces on competence, dominance, likeability, facial maturity and trustworthiness, the students were able to distinguish between the successful and the not-so-successful CEOs.
Despite the uncertainty of the images, which were cropped to the face, put into grayscale and standardized in size, ratings of power- and leadership-related traits from CEOs' faces were significantly related to company profits.
"These findings suggest that naive judgments may provide more accurate assessments of individuals than well-informed judgments can. Our results are particularly striking given the uniformity of the CEOs' appearances," the researchers said.
The majority of CEOs, who were selected according to their Fortune 1000 ranking, were Caucasian males of similar age.
The study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.