Feeds

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

You know what they say about big ears...

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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.
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 for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.