Research Reveals That Children Don’t Trust Unattractive people

According to a research published in Frontiers in Psychology, a person’s perceived trustworthiness is, for better or worse, linked to how good-looking we find them — something that even holds true for children below 12 years old. Research reveals that children hold this stereotype as well.

Researchers at Wenzhou Medical University in China studied 130 children, ages 8, 10, and 12 years old, comparing their reactions to a large number of faces.The researchers used a face generation program to produce images of 200 male faces, each with a neutral expression. The participants were then asked to rate the trustworthiness of each face. A month later, the participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of the same faces.

Research claims that attractiveness might factor into how children form their all-important first impressions of people they meet.

Photo Credit - Janet Weldon
Photo Credit – Janet Weldon

Ultimately, the research found that the faces the children rated most attractive were also the faces that they found most trustworthy. Furthermore, the researchers found that as children get older, the link between perceived attractiveness and perceived trustworthiness only strengthens.

The underlying phenomenon referred to by scientists as the “beauty stereotype”, has really been around for a while. Essentially, it implies that people who are considered attractive are assumed to be more trustworthy, smarter and more successful.

Because of either culture or biology, children, like adults, factor in beauty when evaluating a person’s character.


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