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Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions
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Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  12 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Princeton University Press
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Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
So I learned a lot about faces. Well, not really. I learned that round faces seem trustworthy, but the person may or may not be. It’s impossible to tell. My advice? Skip the book and toss a coin. Same results less work!
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't think one could find a better exposition of the science of first impressions from faces. If you want to learn some well-balanced (faithful to our current scientific understanding and without exaggeration) and serious knowledge about the topic, this is what you should read. Alexander Todorov is one of the world's top scientists on this topic and turns out, a great writer. As a researcher also working in this area, I was delighted to see that the science was presented accessibly but withou ...more
Tess C.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly well researched, with every possible proposition brought up, reviewed with evidence from other studies, and clearly supported or refuted.

The one question that felt unanswered by the end was; if split-second judgments according to a glimpse of a face are very consistent across people, yet are almost invariably completely inaccurate, and wouldn’t have been very useful to early humans, what is it that is causing/leading to such consistent identifications of certain face types looking “co
Joseph Carrabis
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Face Value is a gem of a book for people in so many different fields it’s hard to enumerate them all. My first thought was to a friend who specializes in movie makeup. Imagine knowing the few brushstrokes necessary to turn a beautiful face sinister, or a moronic grin into a genius smirk? Amazing stuff.
A bit thick for true popsci, this is a good read for anyone in social psychology, neuroscience, physical anthropology, social history, ... Selected chapters are must reads for people who deal with
it is fun to look at the pictures. the book warns us of the outsize influence some specific facial features have on our lasting evaluation of a person's character, especially for traits like trustworthiness and dominance. unfortunately we carry these tic prejudices to the voting booth. i don't know if we can agree with his conclusion that conservative-leaning voters look for dominance in their leaders' features, all the time: consider the hangdog faces of Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell etc ...more
Jeremy Townsend
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
The thing is, the author seems to verify then toss out most conclusions he’s made in this book. He tried to state a need for first impressions based on the face, but then spends the rest of book tearing down that assessment. At first he seemed to be making a case for eugenics, then stated how misleading that was. Then went off into some other tangent about math and computer generated facial expressions & what are the odds someone guessing can pick out the trustworthy & the untrustworthy.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an expansive work, and very approachable. My one criticism would be that it's more about all things facial than it is a book about the influence of first impressions. Recommended, if your curious about the human face. ...more
Amanda Hahn
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is accessible and interesting for those outside of the field of face perception, and a helpful, informative resource to those within the field.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A deep dive into the science of first impressions. Written fluidly and with a lot of interesting examples and pictures. Perhaps not great as an e-book.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting exploration of what we think we see and know from the human face.
Theodore Kinni
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating scientific inquiry into first impressions. Conclusion: we all make them in a fraction of second and they are probably wrong
Staci Suhy
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
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I received this book for free as part of a first reads promotion
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