Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 339–353 | Cite as

Ratings of Conscientiousness from Physical Appearance Predict Undergraduate Academic Performance

  • Stefano I. Di Domenico
  • Matthew N. Quitasol
  • Marc A. Fournier
Original Paper


The present study examined whether the grade point averages (GPAs) of university students could be predicted from appearance-based ratings of their Conscientiousness. Undergraduate participants (N = 249) provided self-reports of their Big Five personality traits and copies of their student transcripts from which their GPAs were obtained. Photographs of these undergraduates were then taken from which their personality traits were judged by unacquainted perceivers. Both aggregated and single perceiver-ratings of Conscientiousness predicted GPA. Aggregated perceiver-ratings predicted GPA incrementally over self-ratings, suggesting that appearance-based judgements of Conscientiousness may contain trait-relevant information beyond the scope of self-reports. These results contribute to a growing literature documenting the validity of appearance-based judgements of personality traits.


Person perception Personality Zero acquaintance Academic performance Physical appearance 



The authors express their appreciation to Camilla Bulkowski, Mesaaba Correia, Aubrey Gibson, and Zhuoran (Crystal) Li for their contributions to the collection of these data. The authors are also grateful to Brian S. Connelly and Nicholas O. Rule whose comments on earlier drafts of this article substantially improved its presentation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano I. Di Domenico
    • 1
  • Matthew N. Quitasol
    • 1
  • Marc A. Fournier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Toronto ScarboroughTorontoCanada

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