Ok…  but, only if you are attractive

Children tend to trust people with attractive faces more than unattractive ones, a new study has found.  32 preschool children were shown pictures of a novel object and two adult faces on either side.

The meaning of trust:  assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; one in which confidence is placed.

The faces were taken from a pool of 48 photos that had been ranked from most attractive to least attractive by college students.  The scientists then asked the children who they would ask to correctly identify the object.

Researchers found the kids chose the attractive face over the unattractive one.  Then each face would “offer” a different name for the object.

Again the children were more likely to trust the answer of the more attractive person.  Girls had a greater preference for the attractive face than the boys, the study revealed.

“We see from the results that children and especially girls have more trust in attractive faces, even though there are no obvious reasons why people with more attractive faces would be more knowledgeable about object labels,” said study author Igor Bascandziev of Harvard University, quoted in the International Business Times.

The study suggests humans are born with an inherent bias towards more attractive people.  "inherent bias" refers to the effect of underlying factors or assumptions that skew viewpoints a subject under discussion.

Other studies have shown children are more likely to trust someone from their own cultural and ethic backgrounds.  Bascandziev says it would be interesting to see more research along these lines.

New research indicates that by the time they are 9 months old, babies are better able to recognize faces and emotional expressions of people who belong to the group they interact with most, than they are those of people who belong to another race.

Babies don't start out this way; younger infants appear equally able to tell people apart, regardless of race.

"These results suggest that biases in face recognition and perception begin in preverbal infants, well before concepts about race are formed. It is important for us to understand the nature of these biases in order to reduce or eliminate [the biases]," said study researcher Lisa Scott, a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in a statement. 

In the study, 48 Caucasian infants were given the task of differentiating between faces of their own race and faces that belonged to another, unfamiliar, race. 

In another experiment, sensors placed on the babies' heads detected brain activity when the babies saw images of faces of Caucasian or African-American races expressing emotions that either matched or did not match sounds they heard, such as laughing and crying.

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