Attractiveness Equals Honest?

“Facial attractiveness influences impressions of honesty.” (Bull, 1979; Berry & McArthur, 1986)

UglyBond et al. found that people who were judged to have an honest facial appearance (which significantly correlated with attractiveness) were less likely to agree to deceive others. This has Bond et al. conclude that there may be an element of truth  that less attractive people are more likely to  lie (Bond, Berry & Omar, 1994). Zebrowitz, Voinescu & Collins (1996) also warned (although didn’t directly test) that people’s judgements of honesty may be biased by the attractiveness of whom they’re judging.

Another study by Aune, Levine, Ching & Yoshimoto (1993) found that the opinion of credibility regarding a video recording of a woman (made up, nice hair and clothing) significantly influenced male students opinions, however had no affect on female students (compared to a control where the same woman was plain looking, boring clothes etc).

Finally, Bull & Vine (2003) showed 12 video clips (6 male, 6 female) where participants rated each for attractiveness and honesty. As expected, faces rated as attractive were also rated as more trustworthy.

About Stu Dunn

With a background in sales and behavioural science, I enjoy learning more about people, behaviour, psychology - which led into motivation - and more recently - sales again. Having started my own real estate company with my wife, it's time to merge interests.
This entry was posted in Analysis, Emotions, Evaluating Truthfulness and Credibility, Facial Expressions, Psychology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Attractiveness Equals Honest?

  1. yiyime says:

    perceptions are just another form of living in this optical illusion world…filled with deceptions and misguidance. …

  2. Blanca Cobb says:

    Love the cartoon. It says it all…

  3. I like this post. Would be nice if the test group was a little bit bigger and spread across ethnics and geography. How do you rate attractiveness, just a thought. Thank-you for this bit of info.

  4. Surely all that was tested was whether people think that attractive people are more likely to lie or not rather than whether more attractive people actually do lie less or not..perhaps people just want to believe that the prettier ones are more truthful. Apparently, real beauty (scientifically speaking) is a completely symmetrical face alwayslittleprincess…but in reality, it’s in the eye of the beholder surely?

    • SDL says:

      Agreed Samantha. The only test done was; “Bond et al. found that people who were judged to have an honest facial appearance (which significantly correlated with attractiveness) were less likely to agree to deceive others.” This is also self-reporting, so not empirical either 😉

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