Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Face Only a Lender Would Love ‎(demo dirt)‎

A Face Only a Lender Would Love ‎(demo dirt)‎:

"Need a loan? All things being equal—employment history, credit rating—you had better have a trustworthy face. Appearance counts when seeking a loan and lenders are more likely to do business with clients whose faces evoke feelings of trust, say researchers Jefferson Duarte of Rice University, Stephan Siegel and Lance Young, both of the University of Washington."

Galia Myron reports on a study from Rice and the University of Washungtin that seems to show that “lenders are more likely to do business with clients whose faces evoke feelings of trust.”

No surprise there.

After controlling for factors like race, age, sex, physical attractiveness, financial information, weight, perceived social status, and other potential confounding variables, the researchers discovered that there was a correlation between physical appearance and perceived trustworthiness. Even more surprising, potential borrowers who were deemed to have more trustworthy faces, were in fact more creditworthy than their peers who had been considered less so on appearance alone.

I just can't get the image of trustworthy appearing embezlers out of my mind.

You know who I mean. All those men and women who were put into positions of authority at charities, but used the funds for themselves. Or have you forgotten the epidemic back in the late nineties of greedy, but perfectly honest looking CEO's severely damaging the national United Way and other charities. Did you notice that the people who run Ponzi schemes tend to look trustworthy too. The longer the schemes last, the longer it taked for the embezzlement to become intolerable, the more trustworthy the perp's appearance.

I have no doubt that trustworthy appearance influences creditworthiness, but does it reflect a persons intrinsic tendency to make good on a debt, or is it how our society's lenders manifest unintentional, unconscious prejudice?

Trustworthy appearing then creditworthy? Chicken or egg? Post hoc ergo propter hoc?

con·cept: A Face Only a Lender Would Love ‎(demo dirt)‎