A new study has found that enhanced photos of women viewed by men increased attractiveness but lowered trustworthiness. However, women found enhanced photos of men more attractive and trustworthy.
The researchers focused on 305 participants who identified as heterosexual and ranged from ages 17-36. Participants were placed into an opposite sex condition and then randomly assigned to view one of four profile pictures of the same male and female.
These pictures featured two different types of images, one that had been beautified (ie lighting, makeup, hair) and the other, which was a relatively normal, non-beautified picture (satisfactory lighting, no makeup, no hair treatment).
Researchers found that men perceived a beautified profile picture to be more attractive, yet less trustworthy compared to the non-beautified picture of the exact same female. However, women found the beautified male profile picture to be both more attractive and more trustworthy than the non-beautified profile picture that featured the same male.
"Trust is an important part of any relationship and it certainly plays an important role in the forging of new social bonds in the dating context," said Rory McGloin from the University of Connecticut.
"Yet, we found an interesting relationship between attractiveness and trust for males who were viewing female profile pictures. "Specifically, men typically found the more beautified and therefore more attractive profile to also be less trustworthy," McGloin added.


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