Age differences in facial trustworthiness judgement based on multiple facial cues

Yongna Li, Xinyue Jiao, Yi Liu, Chi-Shing Tse, Yan Dong
British Journal of Psychology 2020 September 17
Multiple facial cues such as facial expression and face gender simultaneously influence facial trustworthiness judgement in adults. The current work was to examine the effect of multiple facial cues on trustworthiness judgement across age groups. Eight-, 10-year-olds, and adults detect trustworthiness from happy and neutral adult faces (female and male faces) in Experiment 1. Experiment 2 included both adult and child faces wearing happy, angry, and neutral expressions. Nine-, 11-, 13-year-olds, and adults had to rate facial trustworthiness with a 7-point Likert scale. The results of Experiments 1 and 2 revealed that facial expression and face gender independently affected facial trustworthiness judgement in children aged 10 and below but simultaneously affected judgement in children aged 11 and above, adolescents, and adults. There was no own-age bias in children and adults. The results showed that children younger than 10 could not process multiple facial cues in the same manner as in older children and adults when judging trustworthiness. The current findings provide evidence for the stable-feature account, but not for the own-age bias account or the expertise account.

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