How Can You Tell If Someone’s A Narcissist? Science Says It’s All In Their Brows


The 30th First (not a typo) Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, a very real event, has honoured two psychologists from Toronto University for finding a link between narcissism and eyebrows. As you do.

Ten awards were handed out on Thursday by science humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research. It’s pretty much a cheeky version of the Nobel prizes.

Some of these people also have actual Nobel prizes, because of course they do.

Miranda Giacomin and Nicholas Rule scored the psychology gong for devising a method to identify narcissists by examining their eyebrows.

The original three-part study, first published in May of 2018, found that “accurate judgements of grandiose narcissism particularly depend on a person’s eyebrows.”

To come to this conclusion, the study focused on eyebrow distinctiveness. Thick and dense eyebrows were a telltale sign of ‘grandiose narcissism’, characterised “by high self–esteem, interpersonal dominance and a tendency to overestimate one’s capabilities”.

Well then.

“We just want to dedicate this award to everyone who’s done data-driven research and found themselves somewhere they never expected,” Rule said in his acceptance speech.

According to its website, the Ig Nobel Prize honour achievements that make people laugh, then think.

“The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative – and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.”

The ceremony, which also includes full-on mini operas, is held annually in September at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre. However, due to the pandemic, things went online this year.

Ig Nobel gongs were awarded in categories including Acoustics, Psychology, Peace, Physics, Economics, Management, Entomology, Medical Education, and Material Sciences.

Each winning team was give a cash prize of a stunning 10 trillion dollar bill from Zimbabwe. And, a DIY award for the pool room.

Elsewhere, the governments of India and Pakistan won the Ig Nobel Peace Prize for [checks notes] “having their diplomats surreptitiously ring each other’s doorbells in the middle of the night, and then run away before anyone had a chance to answer the door.”

Representatives for India and Pakistan could / would not attend the ceremony, unfortunately.

To conclude: this year’s event is available in full on YouTube, if you’re curious. The theme of this year was bugs.