Our decisions to trust people with our money are based more on how they look then how they behave, according to new research from the University of Warwick.
- Life Sciences - Aug 28 Flapping baby birds give clues to origin of flight
- Careers - Aug 28 Comment: A stuttering recovery is the smokescreen for an attack on European employment rights
- Medicine - Aug 28 Arthritis patients failing to take expensive medication, according to research
- Life Sciences - Aug 27 A touching story: The ancient conversation between plants, fungi and bacteria
- Social Sciences - Aug 27 Cool Roofs in China Can Save Energy and Reduce Emissions
- Astronomy - Aug 27 Singing astronaut inspects space engineering projects
- Physics - Aug 26 Scientists craft atomically seamless, thinnest- possible semiconductor junctions
- Medicine - Aug 26 Health Digest: Ebola outbreak, HIV persistence, kids’ sleep routines
- Earth Sciences - Aug 26 Stanford geophysicist discusses what weekend’s earthquakes mean for future
- Business - Aug 26 Professor comments on the ills of foregoing vacation days
- Earth Sciences - Aug 26 Comment: What architects can learn from designing with children
- Environmental Sciences - Aug 26 Coal's continued dominance of global industrialization must be made more vivid in climate change accounting
- Environmental Sciences - Aug 26 New funds to bolster ANU clean energy research
- Medicine - Aug 26 Aspirin cuts risk of clots, DVT by a third
- Computer Science - Aug 25 Team looks to take crowdsourcing to a whole new level
- Medicine - Aug 25 Eye implant developed at Stanford could lead to better glaucoma treatments
Looks matter more than reputation when it comes to trusting people with our money
In a paper recently published in the PLoS One journal, researchers from Warwick Business School, the University College London and Dartmouth College, USA, carried out a series of experiments to see if people made decisions to trust others based on their faces.
They found people are more likely to invest money in someone whose face is generally perceived as trustworthy, even when they are given negative information about this person’s reputation.
The team used a computer algorithm to create a set of 20 pairs of faces at opposing ends of the trustworthiness scale. This computer software modifies the apparent trustworthiness of faces by altering their features. The researchers were able to experimentally manipulate the unfakeable features (those related to shape of the face) that make a face look trustworthy or untrustworthy. These 40 faces were then used in a series of trust games with human participants.
Each volunteer was given a sum of money and told they could invest any part of the amount in a trustee whose face appeared on the screen. Any amount they invested would be tripled and volunteers were told it was then up the trustee to decide how much to send back to them. Thus participants had an incentive to invest only in trustees who could be expected to return more than the invested amount.
The researchers found that 13 out of 15 participants invested more, on average, in the trustworthy identities. In a second experiment, the researchers gave the volunteers information about whether the trustees had good or bad histories. Even with this inside information, the average amount invested in those who looked ‘trustworthy’ was 6% higher.
Chris Olivola from the University of Warwick’s Warwick Business School said: “Trustees with good and bad histories benefitted equally from trustworthy-looking facial features. The temptation to judge strangers by their faces is hard to resist. Trustworthiness is one of the most important traits for social and economic interactions and our study examines whether people take potentially costly actions in line with their face-based trustworthiness judgments.
“It seems we are still willing to go with our own instincts about whether we think someone looks like we can trust them.”
Last job offers
- Life Sciences - 29.8
PhD position: Bioinformatic data integration: Assessing microbial biodiversity of agricultural ecosystems...
- Physics - 27.8
Lecturer Sustainable Energy Systems
- Psychology - 25.8
Professor in Counseling Psychology
- Psychology - 25.8
Professeur-e en psychologie du counseling
- Chemistry - 25.8
Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeitende/r Biochemical Engineering
- Interdisciplinary - 22.8
- Administration - 26.8
Professor II/førsteamanuensis i medisin (pediatri) kombinert med overlegestilling ved OUS
- Administration - 25.8
Professor II/førsteamanuensis kombinert med overlegestilling ved Oslo universitetssykehus
- Physics - 22.8
University Assistant (prae doc)
- Computer Science - 19.8
Professur Signal Processing (m/w)
- Business - 12.6
Professorship in Economics of Energy Markets
- Pedagogy - 28.8
Professur für Didaktik der deutschen Sprache am Germanistischen Institut
- Business - 27.8
Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Finance
- Medicine - 26.8
Departmental Personal Assistant
- Medicine - 28.8
Medicine - Assistant or Associate Professor WOT (AA7797)
- Medicine - 28.8
Laboratory Medicine - Assistant or Associate Professor WOT (AA7855)