Malocclusions and perceptions of attractiveness, intelligence, and personality, and behavioral intentions

  • Jase A. Olsen
    Affiliations
    Private practice, Southern Pines, NC
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  • Marita Rohr Inglehart
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests to: Marita Rohr Inglehart, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078.
    Affiliations
    Associate professor, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich; adjunct associate professor, Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science and Arts, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich
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      Introduction

      In this study, we explored how others perceive persons with normal occlusion or different malocclusions (open bite, deepbite, underbite, overjet, crowding, and spacing). The objectives were to investigate (1) how occlusion affects others’ perceptions of attractiveness, intelligence, and personality, and their desire to interact in personal and professional settings, and (2) whether these assessments are affected by the target person’s sex or the respondent’s characteristics.

      Methods

      Survey data were collected from 889 patients or accompanying adults (46% male, 54% female; age range, 18-90 years) who evaluated target photos that had been manipulated to display either a normal occlusion or 1 of 6 malocclusions.

      Results

      The ratings of attractiveness, intelligence, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion differed significantly depending on the occlusion status depicted. Persons with normal occlusion were rated as most attractive, intelligent, agreeable, and extraverted, whereas persons with an underbite were rated as least attractive, intelligent, and extraverted. Female targets were rated more positively than male targets. Younger respondents and more educated respondents were more critical in their evaluations than were older and less educated respondents.

      Conclusions

      Occlusion status affects a person’s perceptions comprehensively. Subjects with normal occlusion were rated the most positively.
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