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Brown-eyed people appear more trustworthy than blue-eyed people: People judge men's trustworthiness based on face shape, eye color

Date:
January 9, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
People view brown-eyed faces as more trustworthy than those with blue eyes, except if the blue eyes belong to a broad-faced man, according to new research.

Thin-plate spline visualizations of the way face shape correlates with eye color (a–f) and trustworthiness (g–i).
Credit: Citation: Kleisner K, Priplatova L, Frost P, Flegr J (2013) Trustworthy-Looking Face Meets Brown Eyes. PLoS ONE 8(1): e53285. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053285

People view brown-eyed faces as more trustworthy than those with blue eyes, except if the blue eyes belong to a broad-faced man, according to new research.

The study was published Jan. 9 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Karel Kleisner and colleagues from Charles University in the Czech Republic.

The study's results attempt to answer a larger question: What makes us think a person's face looks trustworthy? The authors asked study participants to rate male and female faces for trustworthiness based on two features: eye color and face shape. 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.

To test which of the two features were more important, the researchers tried a third test, presenting participants with photographs of male faces that were identical except for one difference: eye color. Here, they found that both eye colors were considered equally trustworthy.

According to the study, "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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Karel Kleisner, Lenka Priplatova, Peter Frost, Jaroslav Flegr. Trustworthy-Looking Face Meets Brown Eyes. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (1): e53285 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053285

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Brown-eyed people appear more trustworthy than blue-eyed people: People judge men's trustworthiness based on face shape, eye color." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109185850.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, January 9). Brown-eyed people appear more trustworthy than blue-eyed people: People judge men's trustworthiness based on face shape, eye color. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109185850.htm
Public Library of Science. "Brown-eyed people appear more trustworthy than blue-eyed people: People judge men's trustworthiness based on face shape, eye color." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109185850.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

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