Author Topic: Psychopathy and facial symmetry  (Read 21838 times)

Offline Cyndi

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Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« on: June 17, 2011, 08:50:26 AM »
I was thinking today  about the fact that psychopaths seem to attract women, have tons of sex, and breed quite often. So I wondered if perhaps that psychopaths were more attractive in some subconscious way physically than non-psychopathic males. One of the ways of determining if someone is physically attractive is by facial and body symmetry. So I started digging.

Here is the first reference I have found thus far. If I am out in left field, someone stop me. If anyone has more to add here please do. I did a search here for symmetry and did not find anything yet.


http://www.mdpi.com/2073-8994/2/2/1081/pdf


Quote
2.14. Emotional and Psychological Health
Evolutionary theory based research shows that individuals want mates who are healthy.
Consequently, facial and bodily characteristics that index health and fitness are used to determine
whether or not an individual is attractive [15,16,99]. As mentioned  previously, since developmental
stability can indicate fitness, it is given considerable attention. Thus, symmetry is also related to
psychological and emotional health. Psychopathic individuals have greater symmetry than nonpsychopathic individuals [152,153]. This finding may occur because symmetry is related to masculinity [110] and masculinity is a product of testosterone.
Too much testosterone can lead to a perception of over masculinization which is perceived as threatening and unfriendly and is associated
with behavioral problems like excessive aggression [154,155]. Also, symmetry is associated with
higher scores on self-report measures of psychological and emotional distress [101]. Developmentally
stable, i.e., symmetrical, individuals have better psychological and emotional health.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 09:05:41 AM by EmeraldHope »
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Offline wetroof

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 09:45:27 AM »
I read someplace yesterday that all physical attraction is based upon is symmetry. I thought 'whoa...deep...' considered this for a few minutes...and then moved on. sure I think physical / sexual attraction might have to do with symmetry but I don't know and don't care too much. It's a complicated subject.

Are psychopaths better looking? well its an interesting question for sure.

I tried a sure on psychopathy and red hair a couple days ago. It just occurred to me--that a lot of the boys at my school that I think 'maybe psychopath...' have this trait.

I think we also get into the issue here of the predominance of psychopathy in males. And the ideas of masculinity and femininity... and the more esoteric principles. and I am completely uneducated and lost in this regard, though its a subject that interests me. Laura...has written about it somewhere I have to guess.

Quote
This finding may occur because symmetry is related to masculinity. masculinity is a product of testosterone.
weird! So women are not symmetrical  :O. no, not true.

Okay but a woman has the testosterone hormone--or am I totally incorrect?
maybe it is interesting that in some way masculinity is being associated with symmetry i.e physical attractiveness...

I'd say do some more research maybe, but wait for other opinions.

Offline Cyndi

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2011, 09:56:45 AM »
I just found one more. It addresses the "dark triad" of personality disorders- not just psychopathy in and of itself, but it finds similar conclusions.

-http://www.flypmedia.com/content/bad-news-good-guys

Quote
Jul 11, 2008
According to recent studies, good guys really do finish last.
By Tara Kyle
Sure, women say they just want a nice guy—someone selfless, stable and funny. But there’s a reason sax-playing, pot-smoking Bill Clinton bagged more chicks than Earth-loving Al Gore. And now, in countries from Latvia and Lebanon to Canada and Korea, science is backing up one of our longest-held stereotypes about masculinity.

Men who exhibit a “dark triad” of personality traits—which includes narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism (a tendency to be cunning, deceitful and dishonest)—not only get the most women, they also are the most successful at stealing other guys’ girls.

At least that’s the preliminary finding of a major study presented last month by David Schmitt of Bradley University at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society meeting in Kyoto, Japan. With the help of a global team of researchers, Schmitt surveyed over 35,000 people in 57 countries.

To determine what makes a boy bad, Schmitt’s study measured three core qualities within a normal range, asking participants if they agree with statements like, “I think I’m a special person,” “it is wise to flatter important people” and “I enjoy driving at high speeds.”

And while it’s not a good idea to be totally evil, the results show that being a bit more self-loving, cunning and risk-taking than the average Joe, Jose or Yousif may help get you more girls just about anywhere on the globe.

Schmitt’s results are supported by the independent findings of another new study, in which Peter Jonason of New Mexico State University at Las Cruces gave personality tests to over 200 college students.

Many people assume that genetics and evolution dictate that men want many partners, while women prefer monogamy. But according to Schmitt, “that’s not what evolutionary psychologists think now.”

The contemporary view is that both sexes seek different kinds of relationships—pair bonding, short-term involvements or some combination of the two—at different points in their lives.
From Alexander the Great to Colin Farrell, find out the lascivious details of cads through the ages.
If that is the case, wouldn’t women with high dark triad scores have the same interest in having numerous partners and poaching other girls’ guys as their male counterparts?

Not necessarily. According to Schmitt, when men have flings, they’re not looking for a deep connection. In other words, quantity is key.

But even though women may be just as interested in sleeping around, quality plays a much bigger role when picking partners. Studies indicate that women who have one-night stands tend to look for partners with traits perceived as highly masculine. These characteristics include facial symmetry, high levels of testosterone and even masculine tones of voice, but also dark triad qualities like callousness, arrogance and a need for thrills.

Not surprisingly, bad boys are often good at presenting themselves as desirable short-term mates: their psychopathic tendencies often translate into high levels of charm and intelligence; the narcissism means they pay attention to their physical appearance; and a Machiavellian streak is good for establishing social dominance and getting to the top of social hierarchies.

The combination of characteristics that make a bad boy are uncommon—a good thing, because being a bad boy doesn’t work if everybody’s doing it.

“Only a certain percentage of people can follow that strategy,” says Schmitt. Societies work well if about 5–10 percent (with the remaining majority being altruistic “cooperators”) of the population is dark triad-style “cheaters” or people who behave in ways that, in addition to helping them score women, can lead to ostracism or have other serious social costs.

In fact, once “cheaters” cross a threshold of around 10–15 percent of the population, social structures are in danger of breaking down according to Schmitt. That’s bad news for Russia, where almost 40 percent of men received high dark triad scores. In fact, Schmitt found that Eastern European men as a whole tended to score highly on dark triad traits, leading him to speculate that those qualities were perceived as advantageous to survival in a Communist society.

But while men with high dark triad scores tend to have more sexual partners, not know their partners very well and have a greater interest in short-term affairs than your average guy, these aren’t necessarily characteristics women want. According to Schmidt, it may just be their approach.

“It may not be that women are particularly interested in [bad boys]. It could just be that these men seek it so often,” Schmitt says. “They’re putting themselves out there more.”

Maybe there’s hope for good guys after all.
No man is free who is not a master of himself.  ~Epictetus

They are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their own powers.  Christian Bovee

Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
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Offline Cyndi

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2011, 10:07:10 AM »
I'll also add this- it is just a summary though as I did nt buy the paper.

http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=1997-03015-017

Quote
Facial asymmetry as an indicator of psychological, emotional, and physiological distress.
By Shackelford, Todd K.; Larsen, Randy J.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 72(2), Feb 1997, 456-466.
Abstract
Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) is deviation from bilateral symmetry in morphological traits with asymmetry values that are normally distributed with a mean of 0. FA is produced by genetic or environmental perturbations of developmental design and may play a role in human sexual selection. K. Grammer and R. Thornhill (see record 1994-45035-001) found that facial FA negatively covaries with observer ratings of attractiveness, dominance, sexiness, and health. Using self-reports, observer ratings, daily diary reports, and psychophysiological measures, the authors assessed the relationship between facial FA and health in 2 samples of undergraduates (N = 101). Results partially replicate and extend those of K. Grammer and R. Thornhill (see record 1994-45035-001) and suggest that facial FA may signal psychological, emotional, and physiological distress. Discussion integrates the authors' findings with previous research on FA and suggests future research needed to clarify the role of FA in human sexual selection. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

This would make sense to me as to WHY they would be more symmetrical- they have NO emotional or psychological  distress.
No man is free who is not a master of himself.  ~Epictetus

They are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their own powers.  Christian Bovee

Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
Which we ascribe to heaven.
William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.  Edmund Hillary

Offline SolarMother

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2011, 09:20:11 PM »
I read someplace yesterday that all physical attraction is based upon is symmetry. I thought 'whoa...deep...' considered this for a few minutes...and then moved on. sure I think physical / sexual attraction might have to do with symmetry but I don't know and don't care too much. It's a complicated subject.

Are psychopaths better looking? well its an interesting question for sure.

I tried a sure on psychopathy and red hair a couple days ago. It just occurred to me--that a lot of the boys at my school that I think 'maybe psychopath...' have this trait.

I think we also get into the issue here of the predominance of psychopathy in males. And the ideas of masculinity and femininity... and the more esoteric principles. and I am completely uneducated and lost in this regard, though its a subject that interests me. Laura...has written about it somewhere I have to guess.

Quote
This finding may occur because symmetry is related to masculinity. masculinity is a product of testosterone.
weird! So women are not symmetrical  :O. no, not true.

Okay but a woman has the testosterone hormone--or am I totally incorrect?
maybe it is interesting that in some way masculinity is being associated with symmetry i.e physical attractiveness...

I'd say do some more research maybe, but wait for other opinions.

Here is some of what Laura has said on this great thread, "Polar Beings" http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=4907.0

Laura
Quote
You see, in reading "Women Who Love Psychopaths," I realized that the things that a psychopath does, the things that WORK in baiting, capturing, bonding women are obviously caricatures of things that ought to be manifested in positive ways.  For example: a psychopath may use his eyes and words to entrance and bait a woman to his bed where he "bonds" with her via "super sex."  He uses tender, romantic words, gestures, promises, etc etc.

On the other hand, normal guys (and I'll talk about guys here since most psychopaths are male) generally do not feel comfortable gazing into the eyes of their beloved, speaking romantic words, performing wildly romantic gestures and certainly, most men are sexually inhibited or downright juvenile in their sexual behavior.  They also do not see sex as it ought to be seen, as one of the best opportunities for GIVING they have in their daily lives.

But a psychopath observes his prey, does all the things that he has learned will capture her, and then he bends her to his evil will.

Why don't normal men observe their intended - not as prey, but as the object of devotion and giving?  Why don't they learn everything about her, what she is, what she wants, what she needs, and then give it to her as an act of love?

Well, that's one thing that occurs to me.  And the reason I bring it up is, as I said, because the interaction between the psychopath and his prey is a caricature of what seems to be an STO practice of great antiquity that we have completely lost.
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Offline MB

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2011, 12:47:56 AM »
Something about psychopathy and "looks" jumped out at me while I was reading the Odyssey. I didn't know where to mention it at the time, but it seems to fit with this thread. This is an updated version of my original comment.


As I was reading the Odyssey, a remark in the story about kings and their "fine looking" offspring reminded of the TV program Dogs Decoded on Nova on PBS (US). (There is a transcript of the program on the website.) A relationship has been found in foxes and dogs between breeding for non-aggressive behavior and "cute" appearance. The program tells how Russian researchers selectively bred silver foxes for "tameness" over a period of many years. This breeding had an unexpected side effect:

Quote
NARRATOR: One surprising result of this experiment is that, as the foxes' behavior changes, so does their physical appearance.

Just a few generations into the experiment, scientists noticed a curious phenomenon. The normal pattern and silver color of the coat changed dramatically in some of the tame foxes. Their tails often became curly instead of straight. Some young foxes kept their floppy ears for much longer than usual, and their limbs and tails generally became shorter than their wild counterparts'.

In effect, the tame silver foxes were beginning to look more like dogs.

BRIAN HARE: What this shows is that when you select against aggression, you get almost all the same suite of changes that you see when you compare dogs to wolves.

NARRATOR: Evolutionary anthropologist Brian Hare is visiting the breeding program in Siberia. He believes once you select for tameness, changes in appearance will naturally follow.

BRIAN HARE: I think the surprise, when thinking about dog origins, is that there's so many ways that dogs are different from wolves. So is it that you had to select for each of these traits individually?

Well, the answer from the fox work is no. If you just select for behavior, a lot of the morphological and physiological changes that we see between wolves and dogs, they just get dragged along.

You end up with this crazy variance, you know, floppy ears, curly tails, you know? All these other things that are really cute, to talk about, so you get a lot of stuff for free when you select against aggression.

NARRATOR: For Hare, this wide variety of physical traits reveals something fundamental about domestication.

BRIAN HARE: When you're selecting against aggression, what you're doing is you're favoring juvenile traits. Juveniles and infants show much less aggression than adults and, so, basically, you've frozen development at a much earlier stage. And so, you have an animal, as an adult, that looks and behaves much more like a juvenile.

Now, turning that logic around, what would happen if instead of breeding for tameness/aggression you bred for attributes that were considered "regal?" The human equivalent of "wolves?" (With or without sheep's clothing.) It seems like it would be going in the opposite direction from "cute." I don't know of any such research that has been done, but royal bloodlines might offer a few clues.

Offline Prometeo

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2011, 05:11:09 AM »
Been thinking in mine friends' cases and mine too, that all you want at first is a healthy person, with confidence, until you learn that doesn't' define someone, and those kind of people are very attractive, but kind of death.

But as I know, usually woman fall in love maybe not because of the symmetry, I know some male psychopaths are very attractive because of their looks, but generally because of their false romantic behavior that captivates the illusions and dreams of all women (if they have not learned what love is) just for the moment they are predating, then its just feeding time!

Offline Buddy

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 12:14:28 AM »
Interesting. I don't see anything yet that suggests that a direct link between attractive/symmetrically-ordered faces or bodies and psychopathy is possible, but over the course of my life I have noticed something else interesting. As a general observation, there seems to be somewhat of a correspondence between very good looking people and narcissism.

I'm not the only one who has noticed that looks can influence the kind of attention and treatment people get during their development cycle, thereby removing the need for a particular person to exert the hard efforts to grow his own character and maturity in order to earn his way through life.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 12:16:02 AM by Bud »
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Offline Gawan

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 01:36:50 PM »
Interesting. I don't see anything yet that suggests that a direct link between attractive/symmetrically-ordered faces or bodies and psychopathy is possible, but over the course of my life I have noticed something else interesting. As a general observation, there seems to be somewhat of a correspondence between very good looking people and narcissism.

I'm not the only one who has noticed that looks can influence the kind of attention and treatment people get during their development cycle, thereby removing the need for a particular person to exert the hard efforts to grow his own character and maturity in order to earn his way through life.

Maybe OP's as well, as far I can judge. It has been stated somewhere in forum, and it sounds reasonable to drain energy for the STS hierarchy, when they can be beautiful.

To face symmetry there comes the book: "Mean Genes" (Phelan and Burnham) to my mind, where they discuss face symmetry in one chapter: "Beauty" and that we are reacting to the symmetry subconsciously and perceiving it as beautiful.
"When something goes wrong, take it as an adventure." Laura

Offline Prometeo

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 11:24:14 PM »
But what kind of beauty, a beauty with a feminine kind of looks, or a masculine face? for a man those feminine faces would be beauty because those men look like some androgyne, these last days the most popular young actors have a lot of feminine looks.

Its interesting because, I've read an article about what kind of expressions in a man attracts a woman, and there were the angry and melancholic expresions. We should look at some of the most attractive psychopaths and serial killers in history. Ted Bundy ...

_http://youtu.be/TBpNz9RwZ-M

Jeffrey Dahmer and Richard Ramirez

_http://youtu.be/MC5huwZoPZA

_http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taxdJEeIOlk

By the way I have notice the same stare at some psychopaths, their stare is kind of sarcastic or angry. And others like Jeffrey, my dad stare is like Dahmer's one. But in the video of these last two they say Dahmer didn't have that magnetic look like Ramirez, maybe because he just had a personality disorder, and he wasn't a psychopath.

Those psychopaths have masculinity and personality, all they would have in their lifes, motor and intellectual center, not an emotional. So maybe there is a symmetry?
The psychopaths that looks kind of leaded by their motor center are those who assassin, and the ones leaded by their intellectual center looks like those corporate or non-killers.

Edit: Added link
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 11:39:49 PM by Brunauld »

Offline Cyndi

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2011, 11:53:19 PM »
Brunauld, perhaps it would help if I add some basic info in regards to facial symmetry here. All the types you listed could be symmetrical. It does not apply to just one.



Quote
Facial symmetry, is one element of bodily symmetry, including fluctuating asymmetry. Along with traits such as averageness and youthfulness it influences judgements of aesthetic traits of physical attractiveness and beauty , and is associated with fitness-linked traits including health,[1] It is also hypothesized as a factor in both interpersonal attraction and interpersonal chemistry.

Health and physical attractiveness

Edler[2] cited research supporting the claim that bilateral symmetry is an important indicator of freedom from disease, and worthiness for mating. Facial asymmetries and minor physical anomalies begin to appear early in embryonic development, mainly the first trimester of pregnancy, and can be a sign of instability during this growth.[citation needed] Fluctuating asymmetry (random differences between two sides, as opposed to the deliberate natural asymmetry in some animals) develop throughout the lifespan of the individual and is a sign of the phenotype being subjected to some levels of stress.
The ability to cope with these pressures is partly reflected in the levels of symmetry.[clarification needed] A higher degree of symmetry indicates a better coping system for environmental factors. While the visible signs of this may not be particularly apparent, it is thought that they have at least an unconscious effect on people's perception of their beauty. Zaidel et al.[3] in an empirical study upholds the claim that facial symmetry may be critical for the appearance of health. Their study disputes, however, the beauty or attractiveness claim.
[edit]Interpersonal attraction

A large body of work has been conducted relating symmetry to attractiveness, though this is not yet incorporated in this article. Symmetry may act as a marker of phenotypic and genetic quality [4] and is preferred during mate selection in a variety of species[citation needed].
Experimentally, when the shape of facial features is varied (with skin textures held constant), increasing symmetry of face shape increases ratings of attractiveness for both male and female faces[citation needed]. These findings imply facial symmetry may have a positive impact on mate selection in humans.
Non-scientific theories of attraction and symmetry abound. For instance the conjunction "of similar and related parts that are to some extent contrasted to one another" has been considered to have the most aesthetic appeal.[5] Likewise shared features echoism, proportions and similarity to people the person bonded to early in life (prima copulism) have been suggested as relevant. [6]

-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_symmetry
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 01:50:47 AM by EmeraldHope »
No man is free who is not a master of himself.  ~Epictetus

They are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their own powers.  Christian Bovee

Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
Which we ascribe to heaven.
William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.  Edmund Hillary

Offline Palinurus

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 12:01:18 AM »
Hi all,

This discussion reminded me of an experiment a famous Dutch writer (Harry Mulisch) once described. I'm at a loss at the moment where to find it exactly but I seem to recall it was in his Criminal case 40/61 about the Eichmann trial.

He took facial photographs of people, cut them in half vertically and then mirrored each halve to a whole again - perfectly symmetrical. It turned out most faces 'split' into a frivolous and gay one on one side and into a sad and somewhat disturbed one on the other. It served him as a means of 'proving' the commonplace notion of split personalities as not the exception but the rule of the game. Two souls in one breast - as Goethe would have it. Or animus and anima according to Jung.

It was a very weird experience to see three photographs of the same person being so completely different in outlook - two of them perfectly symmetrical but by no means more appealing than the original before the splitting and mirroring. fwiw.
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Offline Nimue

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2011, 07:35:55 PM »
I was thinking today  about the fact that psychopaths seem to attract women, have tons of sex, and breed quite often. So I wondered if perhaps that psychopaths were more attractive in some subconscious way physically than non-psychopathic males. One of the ways of determining if someone is physically attractive is by facial and body symmetry. So I started digging.

This is a very interesting thought.

I am a women who have had a long time relationship with a psychopath (13 years ago) , and in retrospect I only can say he was not really physically attractive,. Sometimes I see him at the supermarket, and then I think, why the hell I found him attractive ? Here we say he looks 0-8-15, unimpressive, but juvenile, he was not the type of guy I find interesting or would have a second look on....but something must have attracted me.... I have thought about this so often and meanwhile I think it is a combination of different factors.
 
There is a dialogue from Twilight that sums my thoughts up very well:

Edward „It's because you believe a lie. A camoflauge. I'm the world's most dangerous predator. Everything about me invites you in. My voice, my face, even my smell …....“

I think they must have a special body chemistry or something like that, maybe I am wrong with my observation, or I was unconscious about the attraction of his facial and body symmetry.

Only my 2 cents !
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you begin to understand there is no going back" (...) Frodo-The Return of the King-Tolkien.

Online obyvatel

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2011, 08:16:46 AM »

Edward „It's because you believe a lie. A camoflauge. I'm the world's most dangerous predator. Everything about me invites you in. My voice, my face, even my smell …....“

I think they must have a special body chemistry or something like that, maybe I am wrong with my observation, or I was unconscious about the attraction of his facial and body symmetry.

   Truth seeker made a post here about the possible connection between psychopathy and smell which you may find interesting.
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Offline chachazoom

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Re: Psychopathy and facial symmetry
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2011, 12:39:22 PM »
I've always noticed that they seem more youthful, less lines etc smoother skin don't age likeothers and thought it was due to them never really struggling, never feeling anxiety, worrying about others or contemplating their actions.