The Man Behind the Beard: Perception of Men’s Trustworthiness as a Function of Facial Hair


There are several exogenous factors—such as the presence of facial hair—that can bias a male’s perceived trustworthiness. Research addressing the influence facial hair that has on perceived trustworthiness is scarce; however, research suggests that facial hair promotes the perception of untrustworthiness. In the present study, participants were presented with experimental questions and two facial photographs (depicting a bearded or non-bearded face) and asked to choose the stimulus that they perceived to be more trustworthy. The results of the present study were inconsistent with previous findings (Ebling, 1987; Muscarella & Cunningham, 1996; Neave & Shields, 2008; Stirrat & Perrett, 2010; Terry & Krantz, 1993; Wogalter & Hosie, 1991). More specifically, individuals were significantly more likely to choose bearded faces over non-bearded faces as trustworthy. Moreover, attributions of a photo’s attractiveness were controlled by pre-rating it and randomly matching it with another photo with the same attractiveness rating.

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Bakmazian, A. (2014) The Man Behind the Beard: Perception of Men’s Trustworthiness as a Function of Facial Hair. Psychology, 5, 185-191. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.53029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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