Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Effects of Facial Trustworthiness and Gender on Decision Making in the Ultimatum Game

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Effects of Facial Trustworthiness and Gender on Decision Making in the Ultimatum Game

Article excerpt

In a growing body of research, scholars have demonstrated that human faces are a rich source of social information, and that the effects of another's facial appearance on an individual's judgment are consistently significant across multiple areas (Scholz & Sicinski, 2015; Todorov, 2008). For instance, from the individual perspective, mate choice is related to judgment of facial attractiveness and dominance (Valentine, Li, Penke, & Perrett, 2014), judgments made on the basis of people's earlier photographs-for instance, on judgments of attractiveness and power-can predict the later financial earnings and career success of the person in the photograph (Rule & Ambady, 2011; Scholz & Sicinski, 2015), and candidates with faces perceived as more attractive have an advantage in job applications (Maurer-Fazio & Lei, 2015). From the business-context perspective, researchers have also found that the relationship between the facial characteristics of chief executive officers and corporate performance varies by organizational context. Namely, when chief executives look more dominant this predicts higher profits in profit-based businesses, and, by contrast, less dominant-looking chief executives may manage nonprofit organizations more successfully (Re & Rule, 2016). Overall, evidence from psychology, management, and economics research suggests that judgments made on the basis of facial appearance have important real-life implications in daily life (Holtz, 2015). For example, these judgments may influence how people choose and treat their social partners, and may exert a substantial influence on decision-making behavior.

Owing to the salient and widespread effect of human faces in social interaction, many studies have addressed the influence on an individual's decision-making behavior of automatic, implicit trait judgments made based on the perceived facial attractiveness and trustworthiness of another person. For instance, perceived facial attractiveness has been found to affect responder consideration of offer fairness during the Ultimatum Game (UG), whereby responders were more willing to accept unfair offers from proposers who had been selected as being attractive by subjective ratings in a pilot study (Ma & Hu, 2015). Some research has been conducted in which scholars have more specifically examined whether or not judgments of facial trustworthiness significantly influence fairness consideration in the decision-making process. For instance, in two other studies in which the proposers were also selected in a pilot study, the trustworthy-looking people were most frequently chosen by participants to be the proposers in the UG, and there was a higher rate of acceptance of unfair offers from proposers whom the participants judged as more trustworthy (Kim et al., 2012; Tingley, 2014). The higher acceptance rate for unfair offers meant decreased fairness consideration; namely, responders were more likely to accept an unfair condition. In some research, the effect of gender in the UG has also been explored. For instance, an offer is more likely to be accepted when proposed by a woman than by a man, and men are more likely than women are to reject offers (Eckel & Grossman, 2001; Solnick, 2001). Although there has certainly been a growing awareness among researchers of the effects of either facial appearance or gender on decision-making behavior, we found it rather surprising that relatively little research has been conducted in which the effects of both these factors had been examined simultaneously. Thus, one might wonder how facial trustworthiness and gender simultaneously affect decision-making behavior and fairness consideration. Given that relatively little research has been conducted to explore the influence of facial cues in a financial context, the current research was conceived to explore the effect of facial cues on fairness consideration during financial decisions. Specifically, we were interested in facial trustworthiness, which is highly relevant when deciding whether to approach or avoid a stranger. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.