RIEB Discussion Paper Series No.2022-03

RIEB Discussion Paper Series No.2022-03


Revisiting the Effect of Trustworthy Face and Attractive Appearance on Trust and Trustworthiness Behavior


In a trust game experiment with Chinese participants, we investigate the effects of trustworthy faces and attractive appearances on trust and trustworthiness behavior. The participants played the role of trustor and made decisions on how much money to transfer to their paired trustees while looking at the trustees' photos presented on a large screen. After that, the trustees decided how much money to return to their paired trustors. Results indicate that trust decisions are influenced by both a trustworthy face and an attractive appearance. In addition, a gender effect on trust decisions was found. Men are more trusting than women are, regardless of whether their counterparts are male or female. However, females are less likely to trust their male counterparts than female counterparts. Finally, it is observed that the trustees with a more attractive appearance are more likely to betray the trust they have, while this is not the case for those with more trustworthy faces.


Trustworthy face; Attractive appearance; Trust behavior; Trustworthiness behavior; Trust game experiment

JEL Classification

C72, C91, D63


Ziyun SUO
Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University

Qinxin GUO
School of International Economics and Trade, Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance

Junyi SHEN
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University
2-1, Rokkodai, Nada,
Kobe, 657-8501, Japan
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