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Jing Ma

Photo of Jing Ma

I am a PhD student in the Perception Lab supervised by Professor David Perrett.

My research interest lies in social perception - the impact of facial appearance on leadership perceptions.

Leaders are people with powerful influence. However, they are powerless without the support from followers. The followers’ expectation of leaders will affect leaders’ power to influence – physical appearance is one of the expectations. A person will experience great disadvantage in taking leadership position and execute group tasks effectively when he or she doesn’t match the group’s common expectation of a leader.

Face plays an important role in our daily life. People don’t want to connect with you on Linkedin or Facebook unless your have a face in your profile. It is well known that the shape, colour, symmetry, and emotion expression of face affect people’s subtle perception of other’s attractiveness, states of power, health conditions, approachability, and competence. These perceptions then influence peoples’ opinions and attitudes towards the faces.
I am interested to study how face influences our everyday decisions and behaviors. I am also interested in revealing people's implicit leadership assumptions through the perception of faces.

Currently, I am working on the visualisation of expectations in leaders, and comparing these expectations across genders.  More information can be found on my blog.