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Is your man trustworthy? Find out

sex-and-relationships Updated: Mar 12, 2010 14:33 IST

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CoupleIs he dependable? Well, ladies, check out the breadth of his cheek bones, for a new study says that men with wider faces are less trustworthy than others.

For the study, a team of psychologists at University of St Andrews invited a group of men to play a computerised game for money. The game offered players chances to trust other participants, but also opportunities to exploit them.

During the game a participant was shown an expressionless photo of a fellow player's face at the start of each game. The participant had then to decide whether to take an immediate pay-off or entrust the money to the person they saw - who, in turn, could decide either to co-operate, and help both players make more money, or take the cash and run.

Lead researcher Michael Stirrat set up the games to investigate whether he could find any measurable relationship between perceptions of trustworthiness from perceptions and behaviour. He found that participants were more likely to entrust money to men with narrower faces.

"We all make instant judgements about strangers - whether to trust him or whether to be wary of her. In my research I have been trying to find a basis for these intuitive judgements. From the evolutionary theory of sexual selection we predicted that male faces may signal physical dominance and that more dominant men would be more likely to be exploitative. We found that men with wider faces exploited trust more often to make money for themselves," Stirrat was quoted by The Daily Telegraph as saying.