Trust, it’s in your eyes… or maybe the shape of your face


Are blue-eyed people cold, heartless and untrustworthy? Do we turn away from them with mistrust while gravitating to the trustworthiness of the brown eyed among us? A recent study suggests something like that is going on – but in the end, is it the color of their eyes or the shape of their face that makes the difference?

Influences business and social relationships

In a new study, researchers led by Karel Kleisner from Charles University in the Czech Republic, tried to determine what defines a trustworthy face. Other research has shown that facial appearance significantly influences various social interactions. Perception of face gives us visual clues to trustworthiness which impacts business relationships as well as social and even reproductive opportunities of individuals.

Eyes or faces?

These researchers narrowed down the indicators to two. They asked people to determine the trustworthiness of people based on eye color and face shape. A large number of responders found brown eyed people more favorably than the blue eyeds. It didn’t matter if they were men or women. For men, round faces with larger mouths and bigger chins were found to be more trustworthy. Those features had no effect on how the women were judged.

Facial characteristics win out

In the next test, researchers gave participants pictures of male faces that were exactly the same except for color of eyes. Interestingly, both eye colors were found to be trustworthy, no difference was recorded. They determined that the key to being perceived as trustworthy had more to do with facial characteristics than color of eyes. Ends up brown eyed people tend to have more of the facial characteristics associated with trust.

“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,” said the authors of the study.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, PLoS


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