Facial bias usually affects who we vote for, date, hire or convict, according to several studies. We tend to evaluate each other immediately by welcoming; giving support or rejecting them. How many times have you thought the following when meeting a new person? That person intrigues me; that person is boring; that person is interesting; that person is dangerous. Is this a spontaneous process coming after “scanning” each other’s face? And how many people are getting a second chance to make a first impression?

We form these immediate impressions of people — we just can’t help it,

...Alexander Todorov, a psychology professor at Princeton University, once told Business Insider.

Facial morphology VS behavior

Facial morphology is said to reveal our personality to others. According to studies, in a structural model of human personality and facial metrics, fWHR - the ratio of facial width-to-height - meaning how narrow or wide one’s face is, is associated with assertiveness. Furthermore, lower face/face height ratio is associated with neuroticism (erratic vs. stable behavior) and attentiveness (helpfulness vs. distractibility).

 The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter,

...Marcus Tullius Cicero the ancient Roman orator, statesman and writer has said.

Judging in terms of competence, trustworthiness and warmth

Many are of the opinion that people evaluate each other in terms of competence. It is of essence to mention the “Red shoes effect” at this point. The Harvard Business school has examined how people react to nonconforming behaviors (i.e entering a luxury boutique wearing gym clothes rather than an elegant outfit or wearing red sneakers in a professional setting) According to the study, nonconforming behaviors, as costly and visible signals, can act as a particular form of conspicuous consumption and lead to positive inferences of status and competence in the eyes of others. Therefore, the red sneakers effect tells us that there is an opportunity in non-conformity when observers feel that individuality is an asset. However, according to Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy:

If someone you're trying to influence doesn't trust you, you're not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative. A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you've established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.

In other words, although most people, especially in a professional context, believe that competence is the more important factor, in fact, warmth, or trustworthiness, is the most important one.

From an evolutionary perspective it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust,

...the professor adds.

6 'non-biased' questions to ask yourself when evaluating others

1. Is he/she trustworthy?

Of course, we cannot understand if a person is trustworthy overnight. First and foremost,t a trustworthy person will not pretend someone he/she is not just to impress. They will use roughly the same behavior and language in any situation and self-control in order to maintain character.

2. What is his/her talk-to-listen ratio?

Anthony K. Tjan, writes at Bussiness Harvard Review that if the talk-to-listen ratio exceeds 60%, then you “want to ask why.” Is the person self-absorbed or is he/she simply nervous?

3. What’s his/her best friend like?

Our closest friends can mirror our interests as people naturally seek the company of those whose tasters are the same as our own. Sometimes our friends may also mirror our weaknesses as we choose our friends because they can provide support on our problems.

4. How he/she treats someone that doesn’t know?

Except of you, this person could have – at the same time - a conversation with other people that he/she does not know. Test how open or kind is he/she during the conversation with a waiter, a taxi driver etc.

5. What are his/her interests?

Although a general concept, more interesting people tend to read a lot; think out of the box; always be informed on issues concerning the world; enjoy fine art and theatre; travel a lot and be open in taking up new experiences.

6. Do I gain something from this person?

People have a tendency to wait for others to fill in their needs. Although the pattern of “waiting for others” is a bad habit, when evaluating new people, we should always think what are the good things that we can absorb from them in order to be ready to give back!