If Kids Hate You, It's Probably Because You're Ugly (Says Science)

Photo: Eddie Kopp via Unsplash 
If Kids Hate You, They Think You're Ugly (Says Science)

Do you ever wonder why kids are immediately attached to some people, whereas for others, they take one look at their face and end up crying hysterically? When it comes to honesty and frankness about what they're thinking, most kids don't hold back when it comes to their thoughts.

A psychological study may have the answer as to why kids like and trust some people, and despise others. Depending on how kids react to you, this may either be good news or bad news. 

In this study, published in the Frontiers of Psychology, researchers in China "examined developmental changes in children's abilities to make trustworthiness judgments based on faces and the relationship between a child's perception of trustworthiness and facial attractiveness."

In other words, if kids find you attractive, they like and trust you.

To get to this conclusion, the researchers gathered 101 children aged between 8 and 12 years old, along with 37 undergraduate students. They asked participants to rate the trustworthiness of 200 neutral male faces. Then, the participants judged these faces for their attractiveness. 

For the young adults in the study, the agreement between trustworthiness and attractiveness increased with age. For children, however, the agreement was much more consistent.

"These findings suggest that face-based trait judgment ability develops throughout childhood and that, like adults, children may use facial attractiveness as a heuristic cue that signals a stranger's trustworthiness," says the study. 

The judgment of little girls, especially, are much closer than that of little boys. 

The study shows that "people use facial cues to make judgement on a person's character — and this ability to infer social traits is a crucial part of social functioning and development."

In short, the more attractive you are, the more trustworthy you appear. 

As adults, though, we know better than to judge a book by its cover, and we never truly know a person's personality simply based on how attractive they are. So instead, we learn to get to know someone and sometimes find that although someone is attractive, they can also be real jerks who don't deserve our attention.

This is a lesson to teach children early on so they grow up to judge a person based on their character and not their faces.

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