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Sam, 

You are obviously right that racism would enter into judgments, but your own efforts and conclusions seem to me to smack of the very BS pseudo-science you protest. To me neither image is a particularly believable portrait of a real human,  but the (white) one on the left is the more menacing and untrustworthy because the one on the right, where you have darkened even the whites of the eye, appears seriously ill. We know Obama beat numerous white candidates in the Democratic race, and we know Oprah is one of the most trusted TV personalities, so I am not at all convinced that for the US majority today the whitest (or pinkest) skin is necessarily the most trustworthy, even when all else is held equal. In these matters you can't just "know" something; you have to find reasonable ways to back it up, and you must pay attention to changes in attitudes. 


Best,

Michael


On Aug 8, 2008, at 3:39 AM, Sam Anderson wrote:

How does RACE & GENDER Play into this? How do national cultural traditions play into this? I deliberately darkened the original foto and placed it next to it. We know that most people in the US would pick the dark foto as the most fearful.

Another BS study in the pseudoscience tradition.
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Whom Do We Fear Or Trust?

<080805150808.jpg><darker version.jpg>

An untrustworthy face. Scientists concluded  the least trustworthy face (score, -8) had eyebrows 
pointing down and lips curled at the edges. (Credit: Oosterhof & Todorov)

ScienceDaily (Aug. 7, 2008) A pair of Princeton psychology researchers has developed a computer program that allows scientists to analyze better than ever before what it is about certain human faces that makes them look either trustworthy or fearsome.