Video: How we make snap judgements of faces

(Credit: NYU)

Jonathan Freeman, director of NYU’s Social Cognitive & Neural Sciences Lab, discusses how we make snap judgements about people’s appearance—without even knowing we’re doing it.

His previous research found that the speed with which test subjects categorized a female politician’s gender could predict whether she wins or loses her election, and that people were more likely to consider a mixed-race person “black” if he appeared low-status apparel, like a janitor’s uniform.

Freeman pioneered software that can track the brain’s decision-making process by analyzing the millimeters of movement of a test subject’s mouse cursor—technology that was used in a recent experiment exploring the amygdala’s role in determining whether a given face is judged to be trustworthy.

Source: NYU