Monday, August 19 2013 at 7:00PM

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72a Waterloo Street

Kathryn Ford

What's the talk about?

The notion that one can judge a person’s character on the basis of their facial appearance is an idea that dates back to the ancient Greeks and for a short period, the practice of physiognomy was considered scientific. Despite the fact that this ancient practice has long been discredited, the idea that one can “read” a person’s character simply by looking at their face still persists within folk psychology. In fact, this belief and our natural tendency to judge people on the basis of facial appearance has a surprisingly pervasive effect on all of our lives.

In this talk, Kathryn Ford will look at the modern face of physiognomy, trying to answer questions such as: why do we judge people as soon as we see them; how accurate are these judgements; and does facial appearance affect how people are treated within the criminal justice system?

Warning: This talk will involve some discussion of rape.


Kathryn Ford received a BSc in Neuroscience and Psychology from Keele University in 2011 and an MSc in Evolutionary Psychology from Brunel University in 2012.