Seeing money images explicitly increases people's trust towards emotionally neutral faces of strangers

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPoster


Is money the root of all evil? In the recent decade, studies consistently demonstrated that by merely activating the concepts of money in mind, people would become more self-oriented and have other psychological consequences that do not favor social interactions. It is arguable that first impression formation is the very first step for face-to-face social interaction. In this study, the money “self-orientation” effect was examined to test whether seeing a money image would decrease people’s trust towards newly met strangers’ faces. 40 participants were randomly assigned into two experimental conditions. In “money” condition, they were visually exposed to an image of banknote for 2 s then required to rate emotionally neutral faces’ (both in own race and other race) trustworthiness level. In contrast, being required to perform the same task, a phase-scrambled money image was shown in control condition instead. The results showed that participants rated the faces more trustworthy in the “money” condition. In addition, the trustworthiness rating was higher in other race faces. No conditionXrace interaction effect was found. This study demonstrated money would not necessarily promote self-orientation behaviors. By prolonging the explicit exposure time, money actually promotes prosocial behaviors such as making a stranger’s face look more trustworthy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 15th Asia-Pacific Conference on Vision: APCV2019 - Ritsumeikan University (Osaka Ibaraki Campus), Osaka, Japan
Duration: 29 Jul 20191 Aug 2019

Public Lecture

Public LectureThe 15th Asia-Pacific Conference on Vision
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