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 found 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 in the U.S. and abroad, and on radio talk shows and 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 expert 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 leadership, social bonds, cross-cultural human development, and nonverbal communication.
This video is about the influence of gestures in the 2016 election.
DegreesAB (1974), PhD (1979), Syracuse University
SpecialtiesNonverbal 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.
- Keating, C. F. (2016). The developmental arc of nonverbal communication: Capacity and consequence for human social bonds. In D. Matsumoto, H. C. Hwang, & M. G. Frank (Eds.), The American Psychological Association Handbook of Nonverbal Communication (pp. 103-138). Washington, DC: APA Publications.
- Keating, C. F. (2015). The life and times of nonverbal communication theory and research: Past, present, future. In D. Matsumoto, H. C. Hwang, & M. G. Frank (Eds.), The American Psychological Association Handbook of Nonverbal Communication (pp. 17-42). Washington, DC: APA Publications.
- 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.
DistinctionsGrant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation 1985-86; East-West Center Professional Development Award 1975-76
- Keating, C. F. Style Meets Substance: Nonverbal Strategies for Enhancing Rapport, Influence, and Charisma. Presented at the Glenstone Museum, Potomac MD. October 6, 2015
- Keating, C. F. Style Meets Substance in the Classroom: Nonverbal Strategies for Enhancing Rapport and Learning in the Classroom. Teaching Institute Closing Plenary at the 27th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, NY, May 21, 2015.
- Keating, C. F. Also Mightier than the Sword: The Body Language of Leadership and Power. Keynote address, Goolsby Distinguished Visiting Professor, Goolsby Leadership Institute, University of Texas at Arlington, November, 2013.
- Keating, C. F. The Invention of Lying. Colgate Dallas Alumni Club, Dallas, TX, November, 2013.
- Keating, C. F. See You Around Campus: Why People Help, Why They Don’t, and What To Do About It. Keynote Address for the Annual Meeting of Counseling Centers of New York, Hamilton, NY, June 6, 2013.
- Keating, C. F., Lyons, P. A., & Jarombek, P. M. I Feel Pretty: Mating Motivation Triggers Self Deceptive Body Perceptions in Women. Presented at the 25th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C., May 2013.
- 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, Chicago, IL, 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 and Cadets: The Psychology of Initiation. Invited presentation for the Black Psychology Student Association, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 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.