Friday, May 29, 2015
People view brown-eyed faces as more trustworthy than those with blue eyes- unless the blue eyes belong to a man with a broad face, according to a new paper in PLOS ONE.
The psychologists (and an anthropologists) attempt to answer a big question: What makes us think a person's face looks trustworthy?
To find out, they asked college students (142 females and 98 males) to rate facial photographs of 40 female and 40 male students and rate them for perceived trustworthiness based on two features: eye color and face shape. The 80 photos were rated for trustworthiness (dominance/attractiveness) on a ten-point scale where 1 means very trustworthy and 10 very untrustworthy.
A significant number of participants found brown-eyed faces more trustworthy than blue-eyed, whether the faces were male or female. More rounded male faces, with bigger mouths and larger chins, were perceived as more trustworthy than narrow ones, but the shape of a female face did not have much effect on how trustworthy it appeared to the respondents.