October 28, 2013
Kids Trust A Pretty Face
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Kids tend to put more trust into adults who are attractive, according to a new study published in the British Journal Of Developmental Psychology.
The study discovered children are more likely to trust good-looking adults rather than unattractive ones. Researchers found children between the ages of four and five were a little superficial when determining whether or not to trust what an adult was telling them.
"When learning about the world, children rely heavily on information provided to them by other people. Previous studies have shown children can be influenced by a range of factors such as whether the adult was correct in the past or if they are familiar to them,” Igor Bascandziev from Lycoming College told International Business Times. "Our study wanted to examine whether children would trust an attractive stranger over an unattractive stranger."
For the study, 32 children were shown 12 photographs of white women aged between 18- and 29-years-old. The images used were selected from a set of 40 and the women were rated as either most attractive or least attractive.
Children were presented images of six objects and asked to name them. The team then showed the children two photos: one of an attractive woman and another of an unattractive woman. The kids were then asked which person they thought would know the right answer. The researchers found the children were far more likely to select the attractive face over the unattractive face. Girls in the study also had a greater preference for the attractive face than boys.
"We see from the results that children and especially girls have more trust in attractive faces, even though there are no obvious reasons why people with more attractive faces would be more knowledgeable about object labels," Bascandziev said.
He also noted the observed gender difference could relate to boys not paying as much attention to the initial presentation of the faces. It could also be attributed to the fact females have superior face perception, as other studies have indicated.
"It would be interesting to see future research explore whether children would continue favoring the more attractive face even when they have evidence that the more attractive face is unreliable and the less attractive informant is a reliable informant,” says Bascandziev.