The effects of facial attractiveness and trustworthiness in online peer-to-peer markets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Online peer-to-peer markets, such as Airbnb, often include profile photos of sellers to reduce anonymity. Ert, Fleischer, and Magen (2016) found that more trustworthy-looking, but not more attractive-looking, Airbnb hosts from Stockholm charge higher prices for similar apartments. This suggests that people are willing to pay more for a night in an apartment if the host looks trustworthy. Here, we present a pre-registered replication testing how photo-based impressions of hosts’ attractiveness and trustworthiness influence rental prices. We extend previous investigations by (a) controlling for additional features related to price (e.g., the apartment’s location value), (b) testing for an influence of other host features, such as race and facial expression, and (c) analyzing a substantially larger sample of apartments. An analysis of 1,020 listings in New York City showed that more attractive-looking, but not more trustworthy-looking, hosts charge higher prices for their apartments. Compared to White hosts, Black (but not Asian) hosts charge lower prices for their apartments. Hosts who smile more intensely in their profile photo charge higher prices. Our results support the general conclusion that people rely on profile photos in online markets, though we find that attractiveness is more important than trustworthiness.
Keywords: first impressions, peer-to-peer markets, trustworthiness, attractiveness
LanguageEnglish
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

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apartment
trustworthiness
social attraction
market
Facial Expression
facial expression
anonymity
Trustworthiness
Attractiveness
Peer to peer
Charge
Values

Cite this

@article{43447f7d60cb41f59a85fe83b004a582,
title = "The effects of facial attractiveness and trustworthiness in online peer-to-peer markets",
abstract = "Online peer-to-peer markets, such as Airbnb, often include profile photos of sellers to reduce anonymity. Ert, Fleischer, and Magen (2016) found that more trustworthy-looking, but not more attractive-looking, Airbnb hosts from Stockholm charge higher prices for similar apartments. This suggests that people are willing to pay more for a night in an apartment if the host looks trustworthy. Here, we present a pre-registered replication testing how photo-based impressions of hosts’ attractiveness and trustworthiness influence rental prices. We extend previous investigations by (a) controlling for additional features related to price (e.g., the apartment’s location value), (b) testing for an influence of other host features, such as race and facial expression, and (c) analyzing a substantially larger sample of apartments. An analysis of 1,020 listings in New York City showed that more attractive-looking, but not more trustworthy-looking, hosts charge higher prices for their apartments. Compared to White hosts, Black (but not Asian) hosts charge lower prices for their apartments. Hosts who smile more intensely in their profile photo charge higher prices. Our results support the general conclusion that people rely on profile photos in online markets, though we find that attractiveness is more important than trustworthiness.Keywords: first impressions, peer-to-peer markets, trustworthiness, attractiveness",
author = "B. Jaeger and W. Sleegers and A.M. Evans and M. Stel and {van Beest}, I.",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1016/j.joep.2018.11.004",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Economic Psychology",
issn = "0167-4870",
publisher = "Elsevier Science BV",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - The effects of facial attractiveness and trustworthiness in online peer-to-peer markets

AU - Jaeger, B.

AU - Sleegers, W.

AU - Evans, A.M.

AU - Stel, M.

AU - van Beest, I.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Online peer-to-peer markets, such as Airbnb, often include profile photos of sellers to reduce anonymity. Ert, Fleischer, and Magen (2016) found that more trustworthy-looking, but not more attractive-looking, Airbnb hosts from Stockholm charge higher prices for similar apartments. This suggests that people are willing to pay more for a night in an apartment if the host looks trustworthy. Here, we present a pre-registered replication testing how photo-based impressions of hosts’ attractiveness and trustworthiness influence rental prices. We extend previous investigations by (a) controlling for additional features related to price (e.g., the apartment’s location value), (b) testing for an influence of other host features, such as race and facial expression, and (c) analyzing a substantially larger sample of apartments. An analysis of 1,020 listings in New York City showed that more attractive-looking, but not more trustworthy-looking, hosts charge higher prices for their apartments. Compared to White hosts, Black (but not Asian) hosts charge lower prices for their apartments. Hosts who smile more intensely in their profile photo charge higher prices. Our results support the general conclusion that people rely on profile photos in online markets, though we find that attractiveness is more important than trustworthiness.Keywords: first impressions, peer-to-peer markets, trustworthiness, attractiveness

AB - Online peer-to-peer markets, such as Airbnb, often include profile photos of sellers to reduce anonymity. Ert, Fleischer, and Magen (2016) found that more trustworthy-looking, but not more attractive-looking, Airbnb hosts from Stockholm charge higher prices for similar apartments. This suggests that people are willing to pay more for a night in an apartment if the host looks trustworthy. Here, we present a pre-registered replication testing how photo-based impressions of hosts’ attractiveness and trustworthiness influence rental prices. We extend previous investigations by (a) controlling for additional features related to price (e.g., the apartment’s location value), (b) testing for an influence of other host features, such as race and facial expression, and (c) analyzing a substantially larger sample of apartments. An analysis of 1,020 listings in New York City showed that more attractive-looking, but not more trustworthy-looking, hosts charge higher prices for their apartments. Compared to White hosts, Black (but not Asian) hosts charge lower prices for their apartments. Hosts who smile more intensely in their profile photo charge higher prices. Our results support the general conclusion that people rely on profile photos in online markets, though we find that attractiveness is more important than trustworthiness.Keywords: first impressions, peer-to-peer markets, trustworthiness, attractiveness

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DO - 10.1016/j.joep.2018.11.004

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of Economic Psychology

T2 - Journal of Economic Psychology

JF - Journal of Economic Psychology

SN - 0167-4870

ER -