Taken together, there is abundant evidence inside and outside the lab that looks matter. People do use appearance cues to infer traits and characteristics. This in turn affects their behavior toward those targets. Although one may naively assume that political races are determined by political issues, looks play a crucial role. What makes this observation so upsetting is the strong sentiment not only that looks are not a qualifying criteria but also, and perhaps even more disturbing, that modern technology allows people to alter images and to project desired images at least in media depictions. In the study by Landwehr et al., a simple morphing program did the trick. Other tools are much more sophisticated. For example Walker and Vetter (2009) developed a fascinating computer model that very subtly alters photos of real faces to look more trustworthy, masculine, or extraverted, to name just a few dimensions. In this regard, looks actually do deceive. But is that also true of unaltered pictures? To what extent do the inferences drawn from photos alone reflect reality?

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