STATES CHRONICLE – New research indicates that we may be able to guess certain names by only looking at people’s faces and their features. We all know that first impressions are the ones that stick to everybody’s mind when they see you. But, conversely, we were thought never to judge a person by her or his looks. However, we tend to judge others by their facial expressions, facial appearance in general, their intelligence and trustworthiness.
Now, scientists tried to establish the exact opposite. They wanted to reveal whether people’s opinion about us influences the way we look. The new study was developed by Dr. Ruth Mayo and Yonat Zwebner, a Ph.D. candidate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. They have teamed up to analyze whether someone’s appearance may be modified by the name they have.
To develop the study, these two researchers have gathered independent observers who were shown some photographs of complete strangers. They were given a list of names, being asked to attribute one of those names to the total stranger in the photo. They needed to choose the name which best suited the facial appearance of the stranger.
The results indicated that observers have repeatedly managed to correctly identify the name of the complete stranger in the picture by only looking at their facial appearance. For instance, when an observer looked at the face of a stranger and had to consider only four names, like Nathaniel, Josef, Dan and Jacob, the observer correctly attributed the name “Dan” 38% of the time, surprisingly surpassing the 25% chance level of random guesses.
This effect continued to surface even when researchers stated the ethnicity and age of the complete stranger, trying to imply that there is more than the socioeconomic background. Dr. Ruth Mayo, the senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, stated that their research was bound to unveil that people actually look like their names. Moreover, they have even implied that this occurs due to a process of self-fulfilling prophecy which transforms us into what others expect us to become.
Specialists have supported the idea of self-fulfilling prophecy, and they managed to discover that observers were able to overcome the odds of correctly guessing someone’s name by only looking at their hairstyle.
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