What Your Face Has To Do With Whether Or Not Your Kid Trusts You
Kids can be the most vicious roast comics and your face is one of the first things they judge. A study published in the journal Frontiers In Psychology suggests they might be doing this for more than a laugh at your expense. Kids are actually trying to gauge if they can trust you, and apparently ugly ducklings often grow into untrustworthy ducks.
Researchers took 138 children, ages 8, 10, and 12 years old and compared them to a comparable cohort of adults, who were the control group. Both were shown a series of 200 images of computer generated male faces, which were all set to be symmetrical, emotionally neutral, and with a direct gaze. First participants rated the trustworthiness of each face, and a month later they evaluated how attractive each image was. They found that children’s ability to judge trustworthiness grew more accurate (or consistent with the control group) with age, and there was a direct correlation between how attractive and trustworthy each face was. The relationship was more prominent among girls and became stronger among both boys and girls with age. So if you think your kid is harsh now, just wait.
These results reflect what psychologists refer to as the “physical attractiveness stereotype” among adults, which states that people are naturally prone to assuming positive personality traits in good looking people. So, it’s a good thing you’re so damn handsome.