People make important first impression judgments of the trustworthiness of strangers every day and in many settings. This study investigated whether ethnic background and age of the observer affected first impressions drawn solely from the physiognomics, the nonverbal facial cues, of the stranger. The researcher extended the methodology used by Xu et al. to two groups of 36 Chinese-American and Caucasian-American senior females over the age of 53 in Phoenix, Arizona. The women used a 9-point Likert scale (from very untrustworthy to very trustworthy) to evaluate photographs modified by FaceGen software of 150 Caucasian, Asian, and African-American and Hispanic men and women of varied ages. The results supported prior findings that ethnic background did not affect trustworthiness evaluations, but age did. The two ethnic groups showed no significant difference in their evaluations: the mean Chinese-American evaluation was 5.81 (SD = 1.06), and the mean score for Caucasians was 5.33 (SD = 1.37). Both groups showed a statistically significant linear correlation between age and mean trustworthiness scores (r = -.38, p = .001). As age increased, trustworthiness scores decreased. This negative correlation between age and trust differed from findings of prior research that older adults are somewhat more trusting than younger adults. There is a need for additional research to determine how age and other demographic factors affect first impressions of trustworthiness from physiognomic characteristics.
|Commitee:||Ricanek, Karl, Shutay, Jeanette|
|School:||Grand Canyon University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Philosophy, Psychology, Organizational behavior|
|Keywords:||Cultural/ethnic identity, Facial cues, Physiognomics, Senior women, Strangers, Trustworthiness|
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