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Narcissists ‘seek to maintain thick and well-groomed eyebrows’, study suggests

Eyebrows can reveal a lot more than someone's grooming habits

Olivia Petter
Wednesday 06 June 2018 16:14 BST
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(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If the eyes are the window to our souls, what does that make the eyebrows?

According to new research published in the Journal of Personality, eyebrows could actually reveal a lot about a person’s psyche - that is, if that person is a narcissist.

It turns out that maintaining distinctively thick and well-groomed eyebrows is a trait synonymous with those who rate highly on the scale of grandiose narcissism, a form of narcissism often with a flamboyant, assertive, and interpersonally dominant style.

Miranda Giacomin and Nicholas Rule of the University of Toronto conducted the study by taking facial photographs of participants who subsequently completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, which is a widely used measure of subclinical grandiose narcissism.

They then cropped the photographs so that only the eyebrows could be seen before showing these to independent coders, who rated the eyebrows on a series of qualities including grooming (how plucked the eyebrows were), distinctiveness (how thick and dense the eyebrows were), and femininity.

From there, they correlated ratings of participants' eyebrows with their self-reported narcissism and found that eyebrow distinctiveness was positively related to participants' grandiosity.

As for why this might be, the authors concluded that it spurns from a desire to be aesthetically unique and recognisable, something that is easily-achieved via meticulous eyebrow grooming.

Eyebrows facilitate facial recognition,” Giacomin told The Independent.

“Narcissists may maintain distinct, thick, and dense brows to enhance recognition, which they are motivated to attain,” she explained.

This may also facilitate a desire to be remembered and liked by others, which reinforces positive views they have of themselves.

In addition to bushy brows, other scientifically-backed indicators of narcissism include hypersensitivity, obsessively talking about oneself and a severe lack of empathy.

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