Carrie Keating - Expert in Non-Verbal Communication of Politicians

Colgate Directory

Carrie Keating

Carrie Keating

Professor of Psychology
Psychology, 107C Olin Hall
p 315-228-7355
In my research, I pursue an understanding of the elusive quality of charisma by investigating the skills, traits, and motives associated with social dominance and leadership in children and adults. Together with colleagues and student collaborators, I have discovered that humans convey dominance through facial expressions akin to those of other primates; that facial features which make people appear powerful also make them seem untrustworthy; that people who are socially powerful have unusually good acting skills; and that persuasive performances begin with kidding yourself. I also study the charismatic processes by which groups inspire a following. My early research on dominance and deception was funded by a grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. Some of my studies have been featured in the print media here and abroad, on radio talk shows, and on television, including PBS's Scientific American Frontiers, Dateline NBC, Discovery Magazine, CNN Times/Newsweek Magazine, The McLaughlin Group, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Learning Channel, and ABC’s Good Morning America. As an interpreter of psychological phenomena, I’ve appeared on ABC Syracuse affiliate WSYR, and on the ABC News shows 20-20 and What Would You Do?

I teach introductory psychology, research methods, and specialty seminars in social bonds, cross-cultural human development, and leadership.

This video is about charisma and leadership in the 2012 elections.


AB (1974), PhD (1979), Syracuse University


Nonverbal and physiognomic elements of social dominance, influence, power, status, leadership and charisma; initiation and hazing; social-emotional development and social bonds from infancy to adulthood; cross-cultural human development.


Horseback riding, travel, skiing, tennis, reading


  • Keating, C. F. (2011).  Channeling charisma through face and body status cues. Chadee, D., & Kostic, A. (Eds.), Social Psychological Dynamics (pp. 93-111). Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press.
  • Keating, C. F. (2006).

    How and why the silent self speaks volumes: Functional approaches

     to nonverbal impression management. 

    In M. L. Patterson & V. L. Manusov (Eds.) Sage Handbook of Nonverbal Communication (pp. 321-340). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Keating, C, F., Pomerantz, J., Pommer, S. D., Ritt, S. J. H., Miller, L., & McCormick, J. (2005).  Going to college and unpacking hazing: A functional approach to decrypting initiation practices among undergraduates. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 9, 104-126.
  • Ostrov, J. M., & Keating, C. F. (2004).  Gender differences in preschool aggression during free play and structured interactions: An observational study. Social Development, 13, 255-277.
  • Keating, C. F., Randall, D. W., Kendrick, T., & Gutshall, K.A. (2003).  Do babyfaced adults receive more help? The (cross-cultural) case of the lost resume. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27, 89-109.
  • Keating, C. F., & Doyle, J. (2002).  The faces of desirable mates and dates contain mixed social status cues. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 414-424.
  • Keating, C. F. (2002).  Charismatic faces: Social status cues put face appeal in context. In G. Rhodes & L. A. Zebrowitz (Eds.) Advances in Visual Cognition Vol. I, Facial Attractiveness: Evolutionary, Cognitive, and Social Perspectives (pp. 153-192). Westport, CN: Ablex.
  • Keating, C. F., Randall, D., & Kendrick, T. (1999).  Presidential physiognomies: Altered images, altered perceptions. Political Psychology, 20, 593-610.
  • Keating, C. F., & Heltman, K.R. (1994).  Dominance and deception in children and adults: Are leaders the best misleaders? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 312-321.
  • Keating, C. F., & Keating, E. G. (1993).  Monkeys and mug shots:  The cues used by Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) to recognize a human face. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 107, 131-139.
  • Starek, J. E., & Keating, C. F. (1991).  Self-deception and its relationship to success in competition. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 12, 145-155.
  • Susser, S. A., & Keating, C. F. (1990).  Adult sex role orientation and perceptions of aggressive interactions between girls and boys. Sex Roles, 23, 147-155.
  • Dovidio, J. F., Ellyson, S. L., Keating, C. F., Heltman, K., & Brown, C. (1988).  The effects of social power on visual displays of dominance between men and women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 233-242.
  • Dovidio, J. F., Brown, C. E., Heltman, K., Ellyson, S. L., & Keating, C. F. (1988).  Power displays between women and men in discussions of gender-linked tasks:  A multichannel study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 580-587.
  • Keating, C. F., & Bai, D. L. (1986).  Children's attributions of social dominance from facial cues. Child Development, 57, 1269-1276.
  • Keating, C. F. (1985).  Gender and the physiognomy of dominance and attractiveness. Social Psychology Quarterly, 48, 61-70.
  • Keating, C. F. (1985).  Human dominance signals: The primate in us. In S. L. Ellyson, & J. F. Dovidio (Eds.), Power, Dominance, and Nonverbal Behavior (pp. 89-108).  New York: Springer-Verlag.
  • Keating, C. F., & Keating, E. G. (1982).  Visual scan patterns in monkeys viewing faces.  Perception, 11, 211-219.
  • Keating, C. F., Mazur, A., & Segall, M. H. (1981).  A cross-cultural exploration of physiognomic traits of dominance and happiness.  Ethology and Sociobiology, 2, 41- 48.
  • Keating, C. F., Mazur, A., Segall, M. H., Cysneiros,  P. G., Divale, W. T., Kilbride, J. E., Komin, S., Leahy, P., Thurman, B., & Wirsing, R. (1981).  Culture and the perception of social dominance from facial expression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40, 615-626.


Grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation 1985-86; East-West Center Professional Development Award 1975-76


  • Keating, C. F.  Style Meets Substance in the Classroom: Strategies for Enhancing Rapport and Learning. Invited presentation for the White Eagle Conference, Hamilton, NY May 15, 2012.
  • Keating, C. F., Little, B. C., & Colligan, M. E.  Leadership Emergence in Teenage Campers: Arriving Nicely, Departing Less Nice. Presented at the 24th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, DC, May 2012.
  • Keating, C. F., Sandefer, K. N., & Porter, D. J.  Playing the Face Card: Physiognomy, Gesture, and Race in Politics. Presented at the 23rd Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C., May 2011.
  • Keating, C. F.  Crips & Cadets: The Psychology of Initiation. Invited presentation for the Black Psychology Student Association, Stanford University, April, 9, 2009.
  • Keating, C. F., Hershey, D. E., & Telvi, S. A.  Nonverbal Power Prescriptions for Female Politicians: Differential Diagnoses in Black and White. Presented at the 19th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C., May 2007.
  • Keating, C. F., Oberting, C. & Weiss, M.  Gender and the Effects of Physiognomy and Gesture on Perceptions of Social Power. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences, Charleston, South Carolina, October 2001.