The Best Part of Having An ‘Average’ Face

The scientists found that the results revealed something of a “U-shape” correlation between trustworthiness and attractiveness; the closer an image was to the “typical” face in the middle of the spectrum, the more trustworthy the women rated it. Attractiveness, on the other hand, had nothing to do with typicality. As expected, moving beyond the central image and up the spectrum, the participants rated each face as more and more attractive.

So, why would we trust someone with a “typical” face? It’s simple: generally, we’re comfortable with what we know and recognize, while we fear the unknown.

“Face typicality likely indicates familiarity and cultural affiliation — as such, these findings have important implications for understanding social perception, including cross-cultural perceptions and interactions,” says lead researcher Carmel Sofer, a psychological scientist at Princeton University and Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, in a press release.

With all the science on the potential benefits of being beautiful — higher pay, better health, the list goes on — at least we know beautiful people don’t have it all.

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