Face attractiveness in building trust: Evidence from measurement of implicit and explicit responses

Na Zhao1, Mingjie Zhou1, Yuanyuan Shi1, Jianxin Zhang1
1Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhao, N., Zhou, M., Shi, Y., & Zhang, J. (2015). Face attractiveness in building trust: Evidence from measurement of implicit and explicit responses. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 43, 855-866.

Volume 43 Issue 5 | e4366 | Published: June 2015 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2015.43.5.855

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We explored individuals’ behavior in relation to level of trust when they encounter attractive or unattractive faces. Individuals’ implicit responses were examined in Experiment 1 and their explicit responses in Experiment 2. Results of Experiment 1 indicated that the latency of the unattractive faces with words indicating trust or attractive faces with words indicating distrust (incompatible group) was twice as long as that of the attractive faces with trust words or unattractive faces with distrust words (compatible group). In Experiment 2, we used an investment game to measure individuals’ explicit trusting behavior and found that participants gave significantly more money to attractive partners than they did to unattractive partners. These findings extend understanding of the relationship between perceptions of attractiveness and trust building.

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