Is there a way to tell if someone is likely to be a good partner just by looking at them?
Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests there is and that first impressions do matter.
It can take just 20 seconds to detect whether a stranger is genetically inclined to be trustworthy, kind and compassionate, according to research from the University of California, Berkeley.
Study observers were able to identify the most nurturing and socially sensitive people just by watching their behaviour for 20 seconds. They found these participants were more likely to have a gene variation associated with social bonding, trust, empathy and generosity. Lead study author Aleksandr Kogan said, ‘The people who had [the gene variation] displayed more trustworthy behaviours – more head nods, eye contact, smiling… It was these that signalled kindness to strangers.’