Physiognomy and Looking Creditworthy

Using data from the per­son-to-per­son lend­ing com­pany Propser.com, research is start­ing to show that—when it comes to ana­lys­ing creditworthyness—the once dis­cred­ited sci­ence of physiognomy may be val­id.

In oth­er words, people may be able to tell if we are actu­ally trust­worthy just from look­ing at our facial fea­tures.

Sci­ence pro­ceeds by tri­al and error. The suc­cesses are trum­peted. The errors are often regarded with embar­rass­ment by sub­sequent gen­er­a­tions, and locked away in attic rooms of the sub­ject’s man­sion like mad rel­at­ives in a Vic­tori­an nov­el. Usu­ally, they stay there. Cra­ni­ology, phren­o­logy and eugen­ics, once-respect­able fields of endeav­our that are now regarded with a shud­der, may shriek from time to time, but few sane people pay atten­tion to them. One, how­ever, has escaped recently, and is try­ing to rehab­il­it­ate itself. For years physiognomy—the idea that a per­son’s face is a reflec­tion of his character—was sneered at. Now, it is mak­ing a come back.

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