Analysis of the Visual Perception of the Competences of Project Managers

Rocio Poveda-Bautista; Jose-Antonio Diego-Mas; Jorge Alcaide-Marzal

Based on the appearance of their faces, we attribute to people personality traits, moods, capacities, or competences. This unconscious process plays a central role in our everyday decisions and how we choose partners or our favorite candidate. This work is the first approach to the analysis of the influence of appearance-driven judgments of faces in the project management field. The main objective of this study was to obtain an approximate image of the general mental prototype of the face of a project manager using noise-based reverse correlation. The obtained image shows the features of the faces that drive the perception of a good project manager. The face shows very high average scores for all the competences recognized in the IPMA Individual Competence Baseline when assessed by a sample of project management practitioners. From these results, it can be stated that people have clearly defined prototypes of facial features that convey the perception of being a competent project manager, and this finding may have implications in the project management field.