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Hiu Tung Tiffany Leung
Joanna Wincenciak


First impression, Facial Trustworthiness, Stereotype, Attitude, Experimental Psychology


Purpose: Both facial appearance and behaviors could respectively contribute to impression formation towards an indi- vidual. However, when there is congruence between information decoded from facial appearance and behaviors which may determine impression in different ways, effect of both factors will be altered. This study aimed to investigate the discrepancy between the information carried by the face, i.e. facial trustworthiness and social description, and how these two factors influence individuals’ attitude towards a newly-met person, and their judgment with regard to warmth and competence.

Methodology: An experiment was conducted, asking participants to rate their impression in terms of warmth and compe- tence towards an individual whose facial appearance was manipulated either to be trustworthy or untrustworthy, and whose behavior was described in a short vignette.

Main Findings: The results indicated that social description had a significant influence on both warmth and competence impressions. Facial trustworthiness had no effect. It was also discovered that competence was found to be generally judged more positive than warmth, which implied judgment of warmth was made more reservedly.

Implications: The study would serve as an antecedent to further investigation on managing people’s impression towards oneself, in which such management aids in developing and maintaining positive personal relationship amongst human beings. The study will demonstrate a new vision to the researchers in cognition and perception on exploring approaches to define the mechanism involved in impression formation or attitude.

Novelty: Researchers trust that currently there is still no related research that would determine the direction and strength of effect from facial trustworthiness and social description.


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