Bernhard Fink, Bettina Weege, Michael Pham and Todd Shackelford

Handgrip strength and the Big Five personality factors in men and women

Personality and Individual Differences

Physical strength correlates with facial and body morphology, body movement, and sexual behavior, especially in men. Thus, physical strength may signal male quality in the context of intersexual and intrasexual selection. We investigated relationships of handgrip strength (a measure of upper body muscularity) and personality (as assessed via the “Big Five” factors) in a sample of British men (n = 75) and women (n = 86), aged 18 to 42 years. Handgrip strength correlated negatively with neuroticism and positively with extraversion in men, and negatively with agreeableness in women. The relationship of handgrip strength and neuroticism in men remained after controlling for the influence of age and body mass index. We conclude that handgrip strength provides information about male neuroticism. We discuss our findings with reference to recent reports on male quality correlates of strength.