Baby-Faced Spokespeople are More Believable

If you have a tough message to deliver, put on your best baby face.  That’s the message from a new study done by Columbia Business School.

It turns out that controversial messages are more believable if the spokesperson has a “baby-ish” looking face. People with baby faces — big eyes, high foreheads, small chins and small noses — tend to be perceived as trustworthy, according to the study conducted by Prof. Gita Johar of Columbia along with with Profs. Gerald Gorn and Yuwei Jiang of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

According to an article released recently by Columbia:

Subjects were shown fictitious news articles describing mild or severe side effects caused by a drug. The articles were accompanied by different pictures of CEOs, some baby-faced and some with more mature-looking faces. When side effects were described as less severe, subjects reported believing the baby-faced CEOs more often than the mature-faced CEOs. But there are limits to the baby-face effect: when side effects were described as being more severe, subjects were less likely to trust either the baby-faced or the mature-faced CEOs’ claims of ignorance.

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