Consensual and idiosyncratic trustworthiness perceptions independently influence social decision-making

Bastian Jaeger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Trustworthiness perceptions are based on facial features that are seen as trustworthy by most people (e.g., resemblance to a smile) and features that are only seen as trustworthy by a specific perceiver (e.g., resemblance to a loved one). In other words, trustworthiness perceptions reflect consensual and idiosyncratic judgment components. Yet, when examining the influence of facial cues on social decision-making previous studies have almost exclusively focused on consensual judgments, ignoring the potential role of idiosyncratic judgments. Results of two studies, with 491 participants making 15,656 trust decisions, showed that consensual and idiosyncratic trustworthiness judgments independently influenced participants’ likelihood to trust an interaction partner, with no significant differences in the magnitude of the effects. These results highlight the need to consider both consensual and idiosyncratic judgments. Previous work, which only focused on the effect of consensual judgments, may have underestimated the overall influence of trustworthiness perceptions on social decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1172-1180
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number7
Early online date1 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I thank Bono and Fieke Wagemans for their valuable comments and support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • consensual judgments
  • face perception
  • idiosyncratic judgments
  • trust
  • trustworthiness


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