The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

The most trustworthy facial features of men & women

Got brown eyes and thin eyebrows? People trust you.

By Kristin Wong Jan 11, 2013 7:36PM

Trust is vital to a relationship, and it often takes time to garner trust. Both parties in the relationship must develop a sense of security and establish a commitment.

Having brown eyes helps, too.

Photo: William King/Getty Images

A recent study from Charles University in Prague found that brown-eyed men, in particular, are perceived as more trustworthy than their blue-eyed rivals. Overall, researchers found that it wasn't as much to do with brown eyes as it was the "baby-faced features that seem linked to having brown eyes," LiveScience reports.

But that's not where the superficial sense of security ends.

More on MSN Living: 14 surprising facts about getting engaged

Turns out there are a slew of features men and women perceive as more trustworthy, and what's more—maybe you can judge a book by its cover. Another study found that women can successfully pick out a cheater just by looking at him. They call it "straydar."

More on MSN Living: 10 cliche holiday marriage proposals

In 2008, Princeton completed an extensive study on which facial features people find most trustworthy. They studied their subject's reactions to a series of artificially generated faces. Ultimately, here are a few features they found define a "trustworthy face:"

  • High inner eyebrows
  • Pronounced cheekbones
  • Soft jaw line
  • Thinner eyebrows
  • Larger mouth with thinner lips

For women, cosmetics have quite the impact, too. Researchers showed subjects photos of various women for 250 milliseconds. They then asked the subjects to rate the women in terms of competence, likeability, attractiveness and trustworthiness.

"We found that when faces were shown very quickly, all ratings went up with cosmetics in all different looks," said Nancy Etcoff, lead author and associate researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital. "The women were judged as more competent, likable, attractive and trustworthy."

Yet another interesting study found that men have a unique way of picking out attractiveness in women. Researchers from France found that men have a tendency to be attracted to women with facial features similar to their own. Essentially, these men want a woman who looks like them.

"I think this is less about narcissism and more about the comfort of what we know," said the study's lead researcher.

While common decency will tell us that we shouldn’t prejudge based on appearance, our natural reactions to facial features may deserve more credit. Last year, scientists from the Center for Evolutionary biology and School of Animal Biology at the University of Western Australia conducted a study to see whether men and women could pick out infidelity-prone partners.

The researchers showed participants photos of cheaters and non-cheaters, asking them to guess who had an unfaithful past. Sixty-two percent of women accurately judged a cheater based solely on his looks. Men, on the other hand, only got it right 23 percent of the time.

Subscribe to The Heart Beat

More from The Heart Beat:

Poll: The 'perfect man' at every age
The top 5 regrets of divorced people

In Japan, there's a toilet for divorce

Photo: William King/Getty Images


love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage

  • Lies wives tell

    7 lies your wife tells you

    How to flag her little fibs. By Laura Tedesco

  • A new study on attraction may help explain why fashions change. AFP Photo, ©Serg Zastavkin, shutterstock.com // A new study on attraction may help explain why fashions change. AFP Photo, ©Serg Zastavkin, shutterstock.com (A new study on attraction may help explain why fashions change. AFP Photo, ©Serg Zastavkin, shutterstock.com)

    Being the odd one out may make you more attractive

    A new study on attraction may help explain why fashions change.

  • The Viceroy Anguilla

    Great getaways for a spring-summer honeymoon

    As a general rule, any island that offers great weather year-round is going to attract the most visitors in the winter (high season) when we’re all trying to escape the snow. Once summer rolls around, many islands see a sharp drop-off in tourism since many people have beach weather right in their own backyards.

  • Getty Images

    The top 10 complaints from unhappy husbands

    And how you can attack the issues together.

  • 25 wedding photo bombs

    25 wedding photo bombs

    A wedding is an exceptionally special day. Sometimes, an opportune photo flub makes the occasion even more memorable. Here are 25 awesome wedding photo bombs.

  • He takes you on nondrinking dates.

    7 signs he’s getting serious about you

    Somewhere between the first few butterfly-inducing dates and the committed-for-life stage, there’s the period of wondering if you’re both on the same page about how serious you feel about a future together. If you’re not quite at the point of "that talk" but you’re looking for a few clues you’re heading in that direction, here are some signs he’s in it for the long haul as your relationship progresses.

  • 'Have you tried online dating?'

    15 things single people are tired of hearing

    What’s that sound? It’s white noise blocking out the well-meaning person proclaiming groundbreaking news about where you can meet someone, asking why you’re still single, or bugging you about when you’re getting married already. Don’t be that person. Here are 15 annoying things all single people don’t want to hear.

  • 1. New Hair Color

    11 things to avoid the week before your wedding

    With just a few days left before the big day, you already have a mile-long checklist of to-dos—now meet the don’ts! From impromptu skin treatments to all-night movie marathons, here are 11 things to avoid at all costs.

  • 'It’s a Wonderful Life'

    13 movie romances we can learn from

    A new study shows that watching and discussing romantic films can drastically reduce your chance of divorce. These flicks more than fit the bill.

  • About you and someone else

    10 things he’ll never forget you said

    These seemingly innocent phrases still have the power to wound… big time.

  • He or she is the first one you want to tell

    6 signs your marriage will last a lifetime

    Making "I do" last forever is one of the biggest challenges you'll ever face—and it's normal to worry about how you'll do it. But, if your connection involves any of these things, rest assured that you're in it for the long run.

  • Simone Becchetti, Getty Images // Simone Becchetti, Getty Images (Simone Becchetti, Getty Images)

    Can you stay together after a marital affair?

    Ultimately, as hard as it may seem at the beginning, a marital affair can be a turning point.

buzzing now on msn living
The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner
relationship videos
editor's picks
the heart beat