Smith FG, DeBruine LM, Jones BC, Krupp DB, Conway CA & Welling LLM (2007). Own attractiveness affects strategies in an economic game. Human Behavior and Evolution Society in Williamsburg, VA, USA. May 2007.

While the presence of an opponent's face has been shown to influence decisions in experimental economic tasks, the participant's own attractiveness may also be a factor. We examined decisions in 'trust games' with real monetary outcomes as a function of whether the participant believed that their image would be seen by an unfamiliar opponent. Participants who rated themselves as more attractive than average were more likely to trust opponents who they believed would see them than opponents who they believed would not see them. Conversely, participants who rated themselves as less attractive than average were less likely to trust opponents who they believed would see them than opponents who they believed would not see them. We conclude that participants' perceptions of their own attractiveness influences predictive judgments of how others will treat them, and therefore the strategies they employ in economic interactions.

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