The aim of the current study was to examine the relationship between individual differences in anxiety and the social judgements of trustworthiness and approachability. We assessed levels of state and trait anxiety in eighty-two participants who rated the trustworthiness and approachability of a series of unexpressive faces. Higher levels of trait anxiety (controlling for age, sex and state anxiety) were associated with the judgement of faces as less trustworthy. In contrast, there was no significant association between trait anxiety and judgements of approachability. These findings indicate that trait anxiety is a significant predictor of trustworthiness evaluations and illustrate the importance of considering the role of individual differences in the evaluation of trustworthiness. We propose that trait anxiety may be an important variable to control for in future studies assessing the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying trustworthiness. This is likely to be particularly important for studies involving clinical populations who often experience atypical levels of anxiety. © 2013 Willis et al.
Willis, M. L., Dodd, H. F., & Palermo, R. (2013). The Relationship between Anxiety and the Social Judgements of Approachability And Trustworthiness. PLoS ONE, 8(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0076825