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What Makes A Person Look Trustworthy?

By Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on January 13, 2013

Brown Eyes More Trustworthy Than BlueWhat makes a person appear trustworthy? It depends, according to a new study, on whether the person is a man or a woman.

Researchers from Charles University in the Czech Republic asked volunteers to rate male and female faces for trustworthiness based on two features: Eye color and face shape.

What they found is that a significant number found brown-eyed faces more trustworthy than blue-eyed, whether the faces were male or female.

The research team, led by Karel Kleisner, also discovered that people found male faces that were more rounded, with bigger mouths and larger chins, more trustworthy than narrow ones.

The shape of a female face did not have much of an effect on how trustworthy it appeared, researchers added.

To test which of the two features was more important, the researchers conducted a third test, presenting participants with photographs of male faces that were identical except for one difference: Eye color.

They found that both eye colors were considered equally trustworthy.

“We concluded that although the brown-eyed faces were perceived as more trustworthy than the blue-eyed ones, it was not brown eye color per se that caused the stronger perception of trustworthiness, but rather the facial features associated with brown eyes,” the researchers said in the study.

Source: Public Library of Science

Blue and brown eyed young women photo by shutterstock.

 

APA Reference
Wood, J. (2013). What Makes A Person Look Trustworthy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 17, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/01/13/what-makes-a-person-look-trustworthy/50320.html