Psychologists develop 'face' of Grand National Winner

Apr 13, 2007
Psychologists develop 'face' of Grand National Winner

Boffins at the University of Aberdeen have developed what they believe could be the face of this year's winning jockey.

Experts at the University's Face Research Lab analyzed the facial attributes of the past 25 winning Grand National jockeys and were able to determine from the data that the winners always shared similar attributes of masculinity, competitiveness and dominance. From that, they were able to produce a composite image of what this year's winner should look like.

University lecturer Lisa DeBruine said: "This research certainly follows suit to similar experiments that find that testosterone in men is associated with athletic performance. It seems that if someone wants to pick the winner of the Grand National then they need to find a jockey that is masculine, competitive, dominant and unfortunately, a bit ugly."

Comparing the average winner with the average non-winner the key findings were:

-- 82% of people felt the winner was more masculine
-- 71% of people felt the winner was more dominant
-- 64% of people felt the winner looked more competitive
-- 21% of people felt the winner was more attractive
-- 27% of people felt the winner actually looked like a winner

From the composite image the 158 people who took part in the experiment believed that, of the jockey's riding in this year's race, Mick Fitzgerald was the most similar followed by Davy Russell.

Lisa DeBruine, continued: "According to the subjects, Mick Fitzgerald was the jockey that best matched the composite image so it looks like my money will be going on Kelami."

Damian Walker of totesport bookmakers, who commissioned the research, added, "I think that the picture is the double of Andrew Thornton and I will be having a word with the odds compilers to trim his mount, Simon, a couple of points. One in three adults will be attempting to pick the winner of the Grand National and will be looking for as much help as possible. This could certainly be a unique way of picking their selection."

People can make up their own minds by visiting: www.faceresearch.org/totesport to decide which of this year's jockey that they think most looks like the composite face.

Source: University of Aberdeen

Explore further: Art of Science 2014: Princeton launches online galleries of prize-winning images and video

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