What Makes a Face Trustworthy?

You always hear about those examples of the human brain processing something in a fraction of a second, and apparently judging the trustworthiness of someone’s face is one of those times.

According to a recently-published NYU study, your brain decides how much it trusts a face in about 33 milliseconds, or 1/30th of a second—quicker than an eye can blink. Jonathan Freeman, who was in charge of the study, says that “the brain automatically responds to a face’s trustworthiness before it is even consciously perceived.”

Here are the six faces used by the study—three real faces and three that were computer generated (low/neutral/high refers to their level of perceived trustworthiness):

Trustworthy Faces

It’s weird, because I definitely agree—the guys on the right are obviously super nice and the ones on the left spend their free time robbing convenience stores. But that’s totally unfair, since they’re all just normal, expressionless human faces. Sucks to have an untrustworthy face. They study says that prominent cheek bones and high “inner eyebrows” are two of the main trustworthy traits.

Have you ever thought about whether you have a trustworthy face or not?

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