Judging people based on the appearance of their face

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. strantor

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    Some may argue this, but I think most of us can agree that some people just look a way that makes us instantly make an assumption about them. Some people just look like criminals. Some look like they are untrustworthy. some look like perverts. and some look like they couldn't hurt a fly. I don't know how to feel about this. On the one hand, I don't think its right to judge people based on something they have no control over, but on the other hand, it's been my experience that the generalizations I make about people based on their appearance usually aren't far off the mark. More confusing to me than that, is (if I'm going to to assume that my generalizations are mostly correct) what came first, the appearance or the morality? Does having a criminal mind morph you face to manifest itself?

    some examples:
    Exhibit A: I wouldn't let my kids near this guy
    [​IMG]


    Exhibit B: ...or this guy
    [​IMG]


    Exhibit C: I wouldn't turn my back on this guy:
    [​IMG]

    Exhibit D: Looks like a cretin to me
    [​IMG]

    Exhibit E: I can see this guy doing something malicious
    [​IMG]

    Exhibit A: A convicted child molester and kiddie porn addict

    Exhibit B: child sodomizer

    Exhibit C: Turns out he's a convicted murderer, big surprise.

    Exhibit D: Convicted murderer Gary Hilton

    Exhibit E: rapist

    I did my best not to use mug shots as that would skew the point by introducing a familiar surrounding that we associate with criminals; I want their faces alone to support my point. It wasn't easy, given the search terms I used.

    So, assuming you didn't know the history of these guys, and had no reason to believe that they have a history, what judgement would you make about them? Say you are interviewing people for a job and one of these guys walked in, would you make a instant judgement about them?
     
  2. loosewire

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    They look like mug shots.
     
  3. strantor

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    Yeah I know that, but like I said I did my best. They're not wearing orange jumpsuits or standing with height lines in the background. When you google "scary face convicted criminal" it doesn't come up with facebook profile pictures. Just pretend they're not mugshots if you can. The point is, I see people who look like daily, on the streets, people who look like they should be in mugshots but they're not. Don't you see people who look like this?
     
  4. nsaspook

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  5. strantor

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  6. Georacer

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    First of all, I don't like that you posted photos of real criminals to set an example. It is a personal accusation towards another's face (literally). I know that's allowed in the US, and I 'll set it aside for now.

    In you subject, the fact that these are mugshots preoccupies the reader. If the same persons were calm and smiling they could even make good grandpa figures.

    I disagree that a single picture or face is enough to judge someone. 5 minutes with them, on the other hand, is enough for me for everyday interactions.
     
  7. nsaspook

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    But they looked scary to the children who made up some of the wildest charges every heard in trail after being tricked by people who think you can understand people by looking and talking to someone with no real evidence of who and what they are. It's total voodoo. Judge a person by their deeds, good or bad. The true conman , criminal or undercover agent knows all the tricks that can fool a person that thinks they can judge a person by their cover. Everyone public persona is a cover but some learn how to change it achieve a means. Take a few acting classes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  8. ErnieM

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    Ive heard you can determine what kinds of crimes a person will commit just by analyzing the bumps on their heads. But I imagine chicken entrails may be more accurate.
     
  9. loosewire

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    Five minutes with Loosewire......Go.....While I was away I was on utube again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  10. strantor

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    I don't follow. I'm not making any accusations. The accusations have already been made, and held up in a court of law. All I did was post a picture of it. Is that not lawful in Greece? There is no news coverage of criminals there, convicted or otherwise?
    As stated, I totally agree and tried to find pictures that were not mugshots, and guys not wearing orange jumpsuits, but it's not that easy. I am asking that you try to ignore the fact that they are mugshots if possible.
    The pictures are just examples. I don't have any video interview examples, so I'm asking you to take a step. I'm sure you can think of someone in the past week who, when you saw them in passing, you got the impression that they were less than trustworthy
     
  11. strantor

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    you don't know a person's deeds unless you know the person. I'm talking more about when you first meet or see someone. You've never seen someone in passing who just gives you the "creeps"?
     
  12. Wendy

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    You can't judge anything from faces.

    There are a couple of old sayings that cover this in my mind.

    People judge you by what you do, not by what you say.

    Never attribute to malice if stupidity will suffice. I use this one a lot while driving.


    If you see a burn victim, or someone whose face has been slashed and has a huge scar, is that something you hold against them? Many people do, but it is not right.
     
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  13. strantor

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    I have first hand experiences in both scenarios. The burn victim; no, not at all. The slash victim; slightly. There was part of me that suspected the guy was probably somewhere he shouldn't have been, doing something he shouldn't have been doing in order to get his face slashed. That was the judgement I subconsciously made about him and I consciously had to suppress that. I'm not saying its right to make a judgement like that and I feel slightly ashamed of it, but that doesn't change the fact that that's the judgement i made. I got to know him later (really good guy BTW) and asked him about it; I had it right in the beginning. Earlier in his life he was involved in gang activity and that's how his face got slashed.
     
  14. maxpower097

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    The problem is Stantor is they don't look like that until they've been drinking all day and smoking crack. When they wake up they look normal, then they look like that at the end of the night in central booking.
     
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  15. Adjuster

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    I understand that you live in an area much troubled by crime, and it might be comforting to think that you could sort the sheep from the goats at a glance, but I would caution you that it is much harder than that. It would certainly make the work of police, courts and security services easier if this sort of recognition were possible. A number of attempts to classify "criminal types" have been made in the past, (Google "physiognomy"), without much success, but now some people are making such claims again. Time will tell if they are more successful than hitherto.

    There may be some general principles, such as recognising the signs of substance abuse, but even then you can be caught out. A man who looks like a raddled addict might actually be suffering from advanced cancer, or a seemingly prime physical specimen might be an aggressive loony pumped up with steroids.

    No, I think we are really better not jump to conclusions. When I was a lot younger, I too used to think my generalisations were mostly correct, but with the passage of time it seems that many were not. In my life, I have been treated very well by at least one person who would never have won any beauty contests, and horribly betrayed by another who looked fit to be a film star. As I said, general principles, but appearances can also deceive. Some very plausible, even beautiful-looking human beings are actually thieves, murderers, rapists etc. This applies particularly to confidence-tricksters.

    As for the example pictures, these do not look like are happy holiday photos. It looks as if least some of them were taken after criminals were apprehended. Their general appearance and facial expressions may therefore be influenced by the fact that they may be facing interrogation, or are in jail, or awaiting trial etc.

    Whether or not not there prove to be some connections between say the shape of the face and aggression, I would say that as individuals we need to be very careful about adopting a prejudiced attitude to anyone we "don't like the look of". Adopting an unfriendly attitude to anyone whose faces we don't like may also make them treat us less well.

    As for making instant judgements on people's appearance when interviewing, perhaps this is a normal human response. Adopting an "every ugly person is a pervert, so must not be employed" policy is quite another matter. In some jurisdictions you might face legal action if this could be proven against you.

    There is another issue too: don't assume that someone who looks like an angel is on the angel's side. What I mean here is the other side of the coin from rejecting anyone who looks dodgy. Do not be lulled into feeling secure just because someone looks good. This applies with very special force to anyone that you fancy. The fact that one is attracted to someone does not prevent them being untrustworthy. After all, some of the most famous actors and actresses are notorious for being complete sh1ts in their private lives.

    Well, that may seem like quite a rant, but I found out the hard way that first impressions are not always to be trusted. So go with your instincts up to a point, but try not to think in clichés.

    Edit: Maxpower097 said most of this in a couple of sentences.
     
  16. loosewire

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    @ stantor,the unfinished concrete blocks let the cat out of the bag.
    That made them all look the same in your story.
     
  17. loosewire

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    All the posters,what do you do in your personal life to detect problems
    with people,you have an opinion lets hear it. I have my method,works
    every time.
     
  18. nsaspook

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    Sure and if we get to know that person 99% of the time we are wrong. The reptile part of the brain is always looking for good/bad/run/fight.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  19. strantor

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    Thanks adjuster, that's a pretty well rounded analysis. I am well aware of the "wolf in sheep's clothing" - I wouldn't begin to say that "most people who are criminals look like criminals". Not in the least. What I was more alluding to is along the lines of "most people who look like criminals are criminals". But that last statement is not the message I am trying to deliver. The message that I am trying to deliver is that I think that whether we are willing to admit it or not, most of us feel that way (that is, that "most people who look like criminals are criminals") subconsciously and we have to suppress it. I think it's human nature. That may just be me projecting onto everyone else though, let me know. That is basically what I am asking here, do you guys (and to what degree) suppress that feeling? Or do you even posses that feeling? is anyone even willing to admit that some people "look like criminals"?
     
  20. loosewire

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    Reverse that,try to think of who has not been arrested,the arrest rate is getting near
    50% of population for one reason or another. DuI has increased the arrest rate.
     
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