Generative art made in 2021 by Nick Holtzman in R, using code from Antonio Sánchez Chinchón.

Get the Faceaurus (fey-SAWR-us) composite images on the relevant Open Science Foundation page: LINK

For ethical reasons, I cannot share individual persons’ face images. I can only share the composites.


Faceaurus is a compilation (thesaurus) of face images that are digital combinations of people high and low in personality traits. So far, we have created faces for the Dark Triad, the Big Five (and the 30 facets), and some sexual individual differences. One key methodological advance is that most of these faces are based on both self-reports and peer reports of personality.

All of the prototypes are comprised of faces of participants who proceeded through a carefully articulated consent process approved by the University ethics committee at Washington University in Saint Louis. Each prototype consists of 10 faces, so as to disguise the identities of those involved.

Credit: Angela Senne, who was an undergraduate student at WUSTL, created most of these images.


There’s a nice critique of the original paper, which I encourage people to read here


Holtzman, N. S. (2011). Facing a psychopath: Detecting the dark triad from emotionally-neutral faces, using prototypes from the Personality Faceaurus. Journal of Research in Personality45, 648-654. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrp.2011.09.002

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