How do people judge you based on your face?

How do people judge you based on your face?

If we form our opinion about someone we’re usually not unbiased. But how does this work?

Usually our judgment will be influenced by the notion we have of someone. This can be formed by previous meetings, but also by rumors you heard about someone. Within a tenth of a second we know if someone is intelligent, trustworthy or competent.

It makes sense that you want to make an estimation of an unknown situation. But unfortunately, there are some downsides to this. For example, once you have a good impression of someone, you tend to ascribe even more positive characteristics to someone.

1. We tend to put attractive people on our list of intelligent, competent, trustworthy people together with other positive characteristics. – Todorov, Alexander et al. 2015

2. A babyface – with big eyes and a round form – is usually associated with physical weakness, naivety, submissiveness, honesty, and warmth. – Zebrowitz, Leslie 2011

3. Another case of prejudice: we view the more common faces, the once in our environment, as trustworthy. So it’s not too surprising that we still have to deal with racism and xenophobia. – Todorov 2015

4. We react more positively to faces that look a lot like our own. This was tested in a research where people got to see images of people that looked somewhat like themselves. – Todorov 2015

5. Pretty alarming, but within seconds, people decide if they label someone as a criminal. – Modeling perceptions of criminality and remorse from faces using a data-driving computational approach

6. After all, physical features are important when we’re voting, dating someone or have to hire someone. – Todorov 2015