Baby-Faced People Appear More Trustworthy, According To Study
Jan 30, 2012 13:25
If you want to win over your political adversaries, first make sure you look like a giant baby. According to a slightly bizarre new psychological study, we're way more open to opposing ideas if they come from a baby-faced person.
Got a baby face? Then you're most likely able to win over your adversaries. According to a new psychological study, developed by Dr Ifat Maoz, he designed an experiment where there were subjects with fictional news items detailing a Palestinian peace proposal. The news item featured an attached photograph of a fake politician and the image was dgitally manipulated to make the person look older or younger.
They digitally made the eyes and mouth 15% bigger or smaller which resulted in a more baby faced look. Respondents were asked to give their opinions on the peace offers and consistently rated the person with a baby face more trustworthy than the same version but matured version of man.
"People generally associate a baby face with attributes of honesty, openness and acceptance, and once you trust your adversary, you have a greater willingness to reach a compromise."
But this isn't a panacea to challenges. And it can have both positive and negative effects. Infant-looking politicians do face a rather large stumbling block, at least according to Dr. Maoz:
"Although features of this type can lend politicians an aura of sincerity, openness and receptiveness, at the same time they can communicate a lack of assertiveness. So people tend to prefer baby-faced politicians as long they represent the opposing side, while on their own side they prefer representatives who look like they know how to stand their ground."