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Face value

Alexander Todorov tells the story of the modern science of first impressions.

Princeton University Press

Event description

We make up our minds about others after seeing their faces for a fraction of a second—and these snap judgments predict all kinds of important decisions. For example, politicians who simply look more competent are more likely to win elections. Yet the character judgments we make from faces are as inaccurate as they are irresistible; in most situations, we would guess more accurately if we ignored faces. So why do we put so much stock in these widely shared impressions? What is their purpose if they are completely unreliable? Alexander Todorov, one of the world's leading researchers on the subject, answers these questions as he tells the story of the modern science of first impressions.

About the speakers

Alexander Todorov is a Bulgarian professor of psychology at Princeton University. Todorov's research on first impressions has received media coverage from the New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, The Daily Telegraph, Scientific American, National Geographic, BBC, PBS, and NPR.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

Latecomers will be admitted into the gallery.