Cruel But True, People Are Less Likely to Trust Those They See As Ugly

OK.  So your nose is a little big.  And your chin's a little too soft.  You may feel self-conscious about these things.  You know your beauty is deep inside.  But there's a reason that that self-consciousness may persist.

Children are less likely to trust ugly people.

According to, children think the uglier you are, the less trustworthy you are. In a study recently published in Frontiers in Psychology, researchers have found that as children, how we perceive someone's trustworthiness is linked to how attractive we find them. Our ability to make this trustworthiness judgment develops as we grow, becoming more consistent as we approach adulthood, and, girls are better at it than boys.

Many psychology studies have proven the existence of the so-called "beauty stereotype". This describes the phenomenon whereby more attractive people are also considered to be smarter, more sociable and more successful. To be attractive is to be treated better by your peers, and preferred by new-born babies, than uglier people.

People use facial cues to make judgements on a person's character - and this ability to infer social traits is a crucial part of social functioning and development. Although well-researched in babies and adults, the development of this ability in children was not previously known.

"Understanding this process paints a more complete picture of this development from birth through to adulthood. It also adds to a growing body of work showing that attractiveness is a universal language when it comes to that all-important first impression," the web site says.

In the study, the relationship between attractiveness and trustworthiness also strengthened with age, and reveals that, like adults, children also look to a person's attractiveness as an indication of their character.

So should you run out and get a nose job?  Of course not.  We're just talking about how people feel instinctively and initially.  It doesn't take much to turn that judgment around when babies, children and adults get to know you.


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