Trust vs. Appearance
By Cynthia Kirkeby
May 29, 2004, 12:52


Topic: Trust vs. Appearence

ClassBrain Visitor:

Could you please find me statistics, articles, and experiments on how peoples trusting abilities are effected by appearance of the other person?


ClassBrain Response:


This is not an easy subject about which to find materials.

This book apparently covers the issue in Chapter 6 under-
Building Trust: Implicit Emotional Mechanisms 126
Physical Presence 127
You may be able to find it at the library.

This article mentions how important it is to dress correctly.

A book called Dress for Success started an entire movement related to this
issue decades ago and it is still the bible of the corporate world in many
cases. This article discusses this issue with relation to college interviews.
If people respect how you look they supposedly trust you more....

A movie called My First Mister would be a great thing for you to watch... It
deals with a high school girl that dresses Goth and has a number of
piercings, and how she gets a job in the mall and has to change her
appearance to have the customers trust her as a salesperson. (There's a lot
more to this film...the relationship between the girl and her mentor is
exceptional!) However, this film definitely explores how people trust or
distrust based on appearances.

Another thing that you may want to do is some first hand research on the
subject. Change your appearance in some extreme way and then try to do
something that would normally be simple - such as ask for directions or for
change... The response won't be the same... Log your responses...

Even on TV you'll find some research materials.
Yesterday on Average Joe - they dressed a beautiful girl up in a "fat" suit.
The response to her was very different from usual. She walked through town
and people ignored her when she asked for directions. This was very
abnormal for her. However, in previous episodes, she had eliminated all of
the overweight guys. Read this article.

An entire film was based around this concept- Shallow Hal.
Gweneth Paltrow talks a little bit about this issue in this interview.

I hope this helps- the resources are not standard studies, but there hasn't
been too much written on this subject.

Cynthia Kirkeby
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