Feeds

Can you judge someone's personality by the shape of their ears?

You know what they say about big ears...

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Also in this week's column:

Can you judge someone's personality by the shape of their ears?

Asked by Ronnie Lathrop of Evanston, Illinois

A century ago the pseudo science of phrenology was flourishing. According to phrenologists, one's personality and character could be identified by examining the shape and contours of their skull.

Phrenology has long been discredited. So the enterprise of having the same expectations from the ears, the mouth, the nose, or any other body part of the face and head seems equally doomed. But this is not the unanimous opinion of all experts.

When it comes to determining personality and character, the ears in particular may give some modest but detectable indication. According to evolutionary biologist Dr John Manning, tiny swellings in a man's facial features can expose "miserable moods" or "a tired mind". And women could be signaling the way to the bedroom with similar, subtle changes that conspire to make them most attractive at their most fertile times.

Dr Manning and colleagues at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Liverpool have blamed "cyclical asymmetery" for this. Cyclical asymmetry involve hormonal changes that make human tissue shrink or swell slightly out of proportion, thus subtly altering the way we look.

As early as in 1997, as quoted by Reuters, Dr Manning said that "lying on top of bone is soft tissue and this is subject to changes in size because of hormonally-driven water retention and loss. It is in the face, nostrils, and particularly in the ears where you see this most clearly. It only takes a shift of a millimeter or so to change the symmetry. Symmetry is known to make us more attractive to the opposite sex".

Dr Manning adds that closely matching eyes, ears, or legs signal strong genes that suggest the healthy, robust, and ideal partner. Dr Manning notes that women have a rush of the progesterone just after they ovulate putting them at their symmetrical peak once a month. But men are ruled by 24-hour hormonal rhythms.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.