Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions by Alexander TodorovFace Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions by Alexander Todorov

Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions

byAlexander Todorov

Hardcover | June 6, 2017

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The scientific story of first impressions-and why the snap character judgments we make from faces are irresistible but usually incorrect

We make up our minds about others after seeing their faces for a fraction of a second-and these snap judgments predict all kinds of important decisions. For example, politicians who simply look more competent are more likely to win elections. Yet the character judgments we make from faces are as inaccurate as they are irresistible; in most situations, we would guess more accurately if we ignored faces. So why do we put so much stock in these widely shared impressions? What is their purpose if they are completely unreliable? In this book, Alexander Todorov, one of the world's leading researchers on the subject, answers these questions as he tells the story of the modern science of first impressions.

Drawing on psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, computer science, and other fields, this accessible and richly illustrated book describes cutting-edge research and puts it in the context of the history of efforts to read personality from faces. Todorov describes how we have evolved the ability to read basic social signals and momentary emotional states from faces, using a network of brain regions dedicated to the processing of faces. Yet contrary to the nineteenth-century pseudoscience of physiognomy and even some of today's psychologists, faces don't provide us a map to the personalities of others. Rather, the impressions we draw from faces reveal a map of our own biases and stereotypes.

A fascinating scientific account of first impressions, Face Value explains why we pay so much attention to faces, why they lead us astray, and what our judgments actually tell us.

Alexander Todorov is professor of psychology at Princeton University, where he is also affiliated with the Princeton Neuroscience Institute and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His research on first impressions has been covered by media around the world, including the New York Times, the Guardian, the New...
Title:Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First ImpressionsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.98 inPublished:June 6, 2017Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691167494

ISBN - 13:9780691167497

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 The Appeal Of Physiognomy

1 The Physiognomists' Promise 9

2 Single-Glance Impressions 28

3 Consequential Impressions 48

2 Understanding First Impressions

4 The Psychologist's Trade 73

5 Making The Invisible Visible 93

6 The Functions Of Impressions 112

7 The Eye Of The Beholder 131

3 The (Mis)accuracy Of First Impressions

8 Misleading Images 147

9 Suboptimal Decisions 168

10 Evolutionary Stories 185

11 Life Leaves Traces On Our Faces 203

4 The Special Status Of Faces

12 Born To Attend To Faces 219

13 Face Modules In The Brain 233

14 Illusory Face Signals 246

Epilogue: More Evolutionary Stories 264

Acknowledgments 269

Notes And References 271

Image Credits 311

Index 319

Editorial Reviews

"Informative and entertaining. . . . Although it is aimed primarily at the general public I think that most psychologists will find this book to be an enjoyable and informative read, demonstrating not only the fascinating research emerging in the field of facial cognition but also providing a case study of how the scientific method can be applied to untangle the complex and subtle processes that make up the human mind."--James P. Schmidt, PsycCRITIQUES