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Face Value:
The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions
Alexander Todorov

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"Since the early 2000s, Princeton University psychology professor Alexander Todorov has been studying . . . the first impression. In his new book, Face Value, Todorov pulls together all he’s learned about first impressions. At first glance--and upon a careful reading--it makes for a fascinating and thorough examination of the subject."--Theodore Kinni, Strategy + Business


"Faces are what newborns naturally seek. They are the objects of our love, trust, fear, longing, and memory. They inspire poetry and the visual arts. We rely on faces to reveal mood and character, allowing them to influence hiring decisions, criminal convictions, and elections. In this magisterial work, Todorov takes us on a tour of the face, its role in human affairs, and its power to influence and mislead. You'll always look at faces, but never the same way again."--Eldar Shafir, coauthor of Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives

"Todorov's work is fun and somewhat shocking on the surface, but the deeper implication--that much of our decision-making and behavior is unconscious and unknown to us--goes well beyond his findings about the biases we bring to evaluating the faces of other people. Face Value shows that as much as we think of ourselves as rational creatures in control of what we do we are just as often influenced by eyebrows and chins. Terrifying and enjoyable."--David Byrne, founder of Talking Heads and author of How Music Works

"Face Value is an excellent book, with many surprising insights and many compelling illustrations that offer a complex aesthetic experience."--Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

"From one of the world’s great experts on the human face, this is a book that illuminates the eternal belief that the face holds the secrets to a person’s character. Todorov is a brilliant teacher of the history of this great myth, as he patiently unveils for us the rich and fascinating science of the psychology of face perception. I am humbler for having read this book, with a truer understanding of the mind of my species."--Mahzarin R. Banaji, coauthor of Blindspot: The Hidden Biases of Good People

"Face Value is an impressive, engaging, and enjoyable survey of the fascinating scientific research on our perception of faces, from a key contributor to the work. It should appeal to scientists as well as general readers."--Pawan Sinha, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Alexander Todorov is one of the top researchers in the world on the social cognition of faces. In Face Value, he brings together a huge body of research on the subject, puts it into historical perspective, and tells many fascinating anecdotes."--Lisa DeBruine, University of Glasgow

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File created: 9/19/2017

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