Dissertation
Dissertation > Philosophy, religion > Psychology > Psychological processes and mental state

The Development of Automatic Trust Judgment of Faces

Author ZouRong
Tutor XuFen
School Zhejiang University of Technology
Course Applied Psychology
Keywords Trust judgment Automatic process Primary school children Face memory Negativity bias
CLC B842
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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The trust judgment of faces which are an important source of information in the formationof the first impression, plays an important role in the establishment of the trust relationship. Theprevious studies using subliminal priming paradigm have showed that adults’ trust judgment offaces is rapid and automatic in the early stages of perception. To identify and rememberindividuals who are trustworthy or untrustworthy is fatal to human survival and development.Therefore, this study explores the process characteristics and development of facial trustjudgment from the aspect of memory. What’s more, because children lack of adequateunderstanding of the safety on the environment, they are more susceptible to injury. It is unclearthat what characteristics are there when children make facial trust judgment of strangers.Therefore, this study using adults as a reference aims to examine children’s memory differencesof faces with different degree of trustworthiness to explore the process characteristics anddevelopment of facial trust judgment.This study using the methods of implicit and explicit memory investigates the memorydifferences of faces with different degree of trustworthiness as well as the age-related changes ofthis memory among adults and primary school children of7,9, and11years old. This study getsthe following main results:First, the implicit memory performances of untrustworthy and trustworthy faces aresignificantly different among adults and primary school children of7,9, and11years old. Theyall show higher recall accuracy and faster reaction to untrustworthy faces. This indicates that likeadults, primary school children process faces with different degree of trustworthiness differentlywhen they make trust judgment of faces in the learning stage of this task. Because untrustworthyfaces are processed deeper compared to trustworthy faces, the memory performance ofuntrustworthy faces is significantly better than that of trustworthy faces.Second, the explicit memory performances of untrustworthy and trustworthy faces aresignificantly different among adults and primary school children of7,9, and11years old. They all show higher recall accuracy and faster reaction to untrustworthy faces. This indicates that likeadults, primary school children can automatically categorize faces according to facialtrustworthiness and process faces with different degree of trustworthiness differently when theyremember the faces in the learning stage of this task. They all show the negativity bias, whichmeans the memory performance of untrustworthy faces is significantly better than that oftrustworthy faces.The two experiments show that like adults, children’s memory of faces with different degreeof trustworthiness is significantly different. These findings suggest that primary school childrenlike adults can automatically categorize faces according to facial trustworthiness and processfaces with different degree of trustworthiness differently and then have different memoryperformances to untrustworthy and trustworthy faces. In sum, this study from the perspective ofdevelopment indicates that the trust judgment of faces is an automatic process and suchautomatic process is reflected not only in the early stages of perception, but also in memoryprocess.

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