*Face Value*

by on May 25, 2017 at 9:35 am in Books, Political Science, Science | Permalink

The author is Alexander Todorov, and the subtitle is The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions.  Here is one short excerpt:

When Israeli and Japanese women rated these faces on trustworthiness, their impressions were predictably influenced by what they considered typical.  As the face became more similar to the typical Israeli face, Israelis trusted it more and Japanese trusted it less and less.  As the face became more similar to the typical Japanese face, the opposite occurred.  We trust those who look like members of our own tribe.

The book has excellent photos and plates, recommended.

1 chuck martel May 25, 2017 at 9:37 am

Big news. Water is wet.

2 FaceOff May 25, 2017 at 9:38 am

That’s why God made us in his image, so we could trust him.

3 Sir Barken Hyena May 25, 2017 at 9:40 am

Physiognomy is real

4 prior_test2 May 25, 2017 at 10:09 am

Which is why Israelis likely would have no problems recognizing the difference between Ashkenazim and Sephardim.

‘The team also used its data to better understand the history of the Ashkenazi Jewish people through analyzing both level of similarity within Ashkenazi genomes and between Ashkenazi and non-Jewish European genomes. By analyzing the length of identical DNA sequences that Ashkenazi individuals share, the researchers were able to estimate that 25 to 32 generations ago, the Ashkenazi Jewish population shrunk to just several hundred people, before expanding rapidly to eventually include the millions of Ashkenazi Jews alive today.

Further, the researchers concluded that modern Ashkenazi Jews likely have an approximately even mixture of European and Middle Eastern ancestry. This suggests that after the Jewish people migrated from the Middle East to Europe, they recruited people from local European populations.

These results are compatible with those of prior work on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is passed on maternally. This prior work suggested that Ashkenazi men from the Middle East intermarried with local European women. The Ashkenazi population “hasn’t been likely as isolated as at least some researchers considered,” said Keinan.

Finally, the newly sequenced genomes shed light on the deeper history of Europe, showing that the European and Middle Eastern portions of Ashkenazi ancestry diverged just around 20,000 years ago.’ http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/40956/title/Jewish-Heritage-Written-in-DNA/

5 Blue Toque May 25, 2017 at 10:06 am

“As the face became more similar to the typical Israeli face,”

What’s the typical Israeli face look like anyway? Evidently stereotyping is a constant in human perception.

6 prior_test2 May 25, 2017 at 10:11 am

Yep. See link above concerning the Ashkenazim and Sephardim, both of whom are well represented among the roughly 75% of Israelis that are Jewish.

7 Nanking May 25, 2017 at 10:12 am

No, only straight white men stereotype and discriminate, the Japanese have never treated any Asian countries badly.

8 prior_test2 May 25, 2017 at 10:30 am

Poe’s law, Nanking example.

9 Butler T. Reynolds May 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Adam Sandler?

10 rayward May 25, 2017 at 10:09 am

I suppose that’s why God is depicted as looking like us. What if God doesn’t look like us? What if God doesn’t even have a physical presence? What if God is entirely inorganic, essentially intelligence without physical form? Would people be believers in such a God?

11 Cpt Obvious May 25, 2017 at 10:58 am

You are a part of God as well, by definition. God is obviously not an old man with a beard. I think few believers actually believe that.

12 Axa May 25, 2017 at 11:03 am

You’re right, it’s bearded guy with killer abs nailed to a cross.

13 Thiago Ribeiro May 25, 2017 at 11:19 am

Then how was God walking through Eden in the cool of the day?

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

14 Daniel Weber May 25, 2017 at 12:25 pm

They were hiding near the trees, not hiding in the trees.

15 Evans_KY May 25, 2017 at 10:21 am
16 Hazel Meade May 25, 2017 at 12:55 pm

A person who is smiling looks more trustworthy?
Is it just me or maybe you should do the study on different faces when both people are making a neutral expression.

17 Anonymous May 25, 2017 at 11:04 am

“When Israeli and Japanese women ..”

Obviously a bit of an outlier, with two societies very rooted in uniqueness. Try again with San Francisco and Chicago natives.

18 Alistair May 25, 2017 at 11:23 am

It would be interesting to know if a low trust group, say, black Nigerians, rated the in-group as favourably as the out-group.

19 thfmr May 25, 2017 at 1:05 pm

If I recall correctly the Implicit Association Test shows that American blacks are somewhat likely to have an anti-black bias. Maybe less true in a majority black country like Nigeria, but good question.

20 Daniel Weber May 25, 2017 at 11:44 am

The quoted text suggests the model is

“if looks like me, trust; otherwise don’t trust”

but what if the model is

“if looks like me, then apply well-exercised filters on people from my tribe; otherwise don’t trust.”

If a Roswell-type alien landed, I would say “don’t trust” because I have no way to evaluate.

21 SailerMoon May 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Why would they pick two types of people that are notorious for their sneakiness towards outgroups? If beauty standards aren’t race-specific, trustworthiness might also be encoded in the face. Need to look at Bushmen or Saxons or something to see if the more trustworthy types still set off the same alarms.

22 Hazel Meade May 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm

File under the long list labeled “people are assholes”.

However, it’s not clear that the ability to trust (or not) other’s being biased by looks isn’t culturally specific.
Maybe some cultures inculcate social norms that encourage interracial trust and others don’t.
That the Japanese and Israelis are a little insular isn’t surprising.

23 thfmr May 25, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Jews have fiercely guarded their culture, Europeans haven’t. At the present moment in history I like the chances of the assholes.

24 Hazel Meade May 25, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Their chances for what?
Keeping their culture the same? Keeping their economy going for the next 100 years? Conquering the world?

25 thfmr May 25, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Good question. I will just say that given hand-wringing European globalists and unapologetically Jewish Jews, my assessments of the merits of each have changed in the last twenty years.

26 Troll Me May 26, 2017 at 5:38 pm

Which part of European culture are you specifically concerned about? Enlightenment values that contributed to the end of rule by tyrants and the separation between church and state? Or some other specific kinds of things?

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