Keywords: confidence, trust, trustworthiness, first impressions, overconfidence
The concepts and the mechanisms of confidence, trust and trustworthiness are discussed in relations to the emotions involved. We discuss the computational model of Falcone and Miceli and we comment the empirical results following the tradition of Todorov experiments. Todorov showed his students pictures of men’s faces for as little as one-tenth of a second, and asked them to rate the faces on various attributes. The first impressions, often misleading, are the consequences of the necessity to discriminate friend from foe at a glance. The overconfidence in our ability to judge at a glance and to form categories of people triggered by the first impressions is today often erroneous and has to be interpreted as the trade-off in the very far past between the necessity of rapid judgements even in absence of accuracy. The strength of this overconfidence in our ability is discussed in relation to Dunning-Kruger experiments about the difficulties to recognize one’s own competence and to the tendency to inflate self-assessments.