Children More Likely To Trust An Attractive Face
Christopher Philip

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Broad Smile 1Igor Bascandziev from Clark University and Harvard University and Paul Harris, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts found that attractive adults are more likely to gain the trust of children than less attractive adults. The study revealed that both boys and girls were more prone to believing answers that were given to them by people with an appealing face compared to those with a less pleasing appearance.

The study involved 32 children between four and five who were shown 12 pictures of different women. The children where then asked to select amongst the photographs which they felt would know the answer to a task. While both boys and girls selected the more attractive photographs, the trend was most significant amongst the girls.

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According to Bascandziev, “Although there are no obvious reasons why people with more attractive faces would be more knowledgeable about object labels, female children sought, and both female and male children endorsed, information provided by the person with a more attractive face.”

The “halo effect” has been well researched amongst adults. We know that attractive people generally receive a ‘free pass’ in life and are habitually given the benefit of the doubt. While it doesn’t generally last in the long run, we are prone to giving more attractive people positive qualities that they have not necessarily earned. Apparently, this is an inborn quality as even young children tend to mistake a pretty face for knowledge.

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Igor Bascandziev and Paul L. Harris. In Beauty We Trust: Children Prefer Information From More Attractive Informants. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 2014; 32: 94–99.

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