- A study published by the journal PLoS ONE titled "How Academics Face the World: A Study of 5,829 Homepage Pictures" analyzes the photos posted by scholars on university websites.
- The study was devised by cognitive neuroscientist Owen Churches, who, after accepting a position as a research fellow at the University of South Australia, questioned whether he had unwittingly chosen a university website profile photo that gave "an impression of being more scientific and less emotional" and whether others did the same.
- Researchers--who looked at almost 6,000 pictures chosen from the 200 universities in the 2010-2011 Times Higher Education University Rankings--found "a clear difference in the way academics in the sciences and the arts present themselves to the world," noting that scientists reduced emotional visibility while English academics promoted it and adding that this could even affect students' evaluations.
From the article:
Can an academic's profile picture on a university website influence their citation record or their student survey results? Psychologists have posed that question in a journal article suggesting that scholars "reveal more about ourselves than we think." When cognitive neuroscientist Owen Churches took up a post as a research fellow at the University of South Australia, delays in setting up a laboratory led him to devise research that could be done without one. ...