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Title: Trust and attractiveness : an investigation into individual differences
Author: Smith, Finlay Graham
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 6358
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis describes a series of empirical studies about perceptions of trustworthiness and trusting behaviour. My first three studies investigate how perceptions of trustworthiness are related to both general preferences for sexually dimorphic face characteristics and individual differences in these preferences. My first study (Chapter 2) provided evidence against a simplistic 'halo-effect' view of the relationship between attractiveness and trustworthiness. The next two studies (Chapters 3 and 4) clarified the role of perceptions of trustworthiness in individual differences in women’s preferences for sexually dimorphic cues in men’s faces; while perceptions of trustworthiness did not explain condition-dependent individual differences (Chapter 3), they were implicated in temporal context-dependent preferences, such as when women assessed men’s attractiveness for long-term relationships (Chapter 4). My next two studies examined perceptions of trustworthiness in different contexts. The first of these studies demonstrated that different individuals are more likely to be trusted according to the type of information that they are conveying (Chapter 5); men are more likely to be trusted when delivering male-stereotyped information and women are more likely to be trusted when delivering female-stereotyped information. The last of my studies (Chapter 6) demonstrated how own appearance affects trusting behaviour in an economic game; the extent to which participants trusted game partners who could see them more than game partners who could not see them was positively related to their other-rated attractiveness. Collectively, the findings reported in this thesis demonstrate the relationship between perceptions of attractiveness and perceptions of trustworthiness, highlighting the complexity and sophistication of the perception of these fundamental social characteristics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Interpersonal attraction ; Trust ; Face ; Physiognomy ; Individual differences