Trust

The psychological mechanisms that lead us to have faith in certain people and be suspicious of others are vast. Learn what psychological researchers have discovered about interpersonal trust.

  • Being “average” is often considered a bad thing, but research suggests that averageness wins when people assess the trustworthiness of a face. More

    Diverse crowd of people

    People Trust Typical-Looking Faces Most

    Being “average” is often considered a bad thing, but research suggests that averageness wins when people assess the trustworthiness of a face. More

  • We’re averse to hypocrites because their disavowal of bad behavior sends a false signal, misleading us into thinking they’re virtuous when they’re not, findings from a psychological study show. More

    We Dislike Hypocrites Because They Deceive Us

    We’re averse to hypocrites because their disavowal of bad behavior sends a false signal, misleading us into thinking they’re virtuous when they’re not, findings from a psychological study show. More

  • People often mimic each other’s facial expressions without even knowing it, but research shows that they also mimic the size of each other’s pupils. More

    Closeup of a man's eye

    Look Into My Pupils: Pupil Mimicry May Lead to Increased Trust

    People often mimic each other’s facial expressions without even knowing it, but research shows that they also mimic the size of each other’s pupils. More

  • Discussing matters of the heart can be the start of something beautifully platonic between the sexes – so long as the male isn’t interested in more. More

    Women Warm Up Faster to Gay Men Than Straight Guys, Study Suggests

    Discussing matters of the heart can be the start of something beautifully platonic between the sexes – so long as the male isn’t interested in more. More

  • APS Fellow Betsy Levy Paluck demonstrates how the influential power of social norms can be channeled toward the greater good. More

    Renewing the New Normal

    APS Fellow Betsy Levy Paluck demonstrates how the influential power of social norms can be channeled toward the greater good. More

  • Chief executives with certain facial features are immediately assessed as more trustworthy, and are less likely to be blamed for a company's financial problems, a study has found. More

    At Face Value: Certain Facial Features Inspire Trust

    Chief executives with certain facial features are immediately assessed as more trustworthy, and are less likely to be blamed for a company's financial problems, a study has found. More

  • A criminal defendant's face may determine the severity of the sentence he receives, a study using photos and sentencing data of inmates shows. More

    The Trustworthiness of an Inmate’s Face May Seal His Fate

    A criminal defendant's face may determine the severity of the sentence he receives, a study using photos and sentencing data of inmates shows. More

  • When it comes to detecting deceit, your automatic associations may be more accurate than conscious thought in pegging truth-tellers and liars, according to findings from a psychological study. More

    The Unconscious Mind Can Detect a Liar — Even When the Conscious Mind Fails

    When it comes to detecting deceit, your automatic associations may be more accurate than conscious thought in pegging truth-tellers and liars, according to findings from a psychological study. More

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