The Curious Idea of Physiognomy and a Question for Kiva

Physiognomy is the theory that one can read an individual’s character just by looking at their face. Research studies into this notion have revealed that most times, one’s credit history directly correlates with the level of trustworthiness others perceive from their face. However, most researchers mistakenly confuse causation and correlation. Physiognomy courses point towards the belief that your appearance can portray your enthusiasm to meet your responsibilities.

But, consider the theory that instead of being unwilling to settle debts, people who have untrustworthy facial appearances may suffer from trust issues, lowering their ability to settle loans even though they might be as willing as the next guy. Also, if your face portrays untrustworthiness, you may have a harder time landing a job or making social connections that could boost your private life or career. And, all this leads to the big question; should peer-to-peer lending like Kiva include loan applicant photos on their websites? Keep reading for more insight.

What is Kiva?

Kiva is a one-of-a-kind peer-to-peer lending institution. Borrowers who have no access to bank loans or no credit history can obtain loans with no interest at all. Their aim, according to the Kiva website, is to provide fair funding options for entrepreneurs who have had little or no success obtaining loans from conventional money lenders.

Also, Read: What should Borrowers Look for Before Taking P2P Loans? And Ways in which Bridging Loans can Help you.

How does Kiva work?

Kiva liaises with microfinance institutions, non-profit organizations, and other field partners in tens of countries to crowdfund loans. These loans are then administered and underwritten by the partners. But, when Kiva launched in the US in 2009, they quickly realized that this model would be ineffective. First, microfinance establishments in the US can get relatively cheap capital compared to international markets. Therefore, the field partners here do not find the zero-interest policy offered by Kiva to be enticing. Also, the demand for lenders did not shine on Kiva since it was considered an international company.

Since Kiva offers credit to persons who have no access to bank accounts, credit cards, and other traditional financial products, their underwriting process “judges” your creditworthiness based on your personal character instead of factors such as your credit score. Some borrowers in the US prove their ability and willingness to pay by tagging along family and friends to loan to. Some even ask for loans on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook or by sending out emails to friends. Kiva may deem you a creditworthy candidate after anywhere between five and thirty-five lenders. Thereafter, you can list your project on their main platform, which enjoys a whooping 1.6 million lenders looking to offer you a loan.

How reliable is physiognomy?

Although many people trash the basis of physiognomy, most individuals practice it unknowingly through what we call first impressions. Notice how we subconsciously form perceptions of other people based on their facial appearance? One can make up their mind about an individual’s character barely seconds after setting eyes on them. And these impressions carry significant consequences. For instance, people are more likely to vote for political aspirants who appear trustworthy and competent, and they may judge harshly those people who appear the opposite.

In light of this, modern psychologists have devised a model that facilitates the manipulation of facial appearances to increase or decrease how they are perceived as trustworthy or competent. Your facial image directly represents you, the owner. However, sometimes one can’t recognize one unfamiliar person in different images. This indicates that physiognomy may not be as reliable when it comes to the facial impressions of unfamiliar faces. Although no one can conclusively back the legitimacy of physiognomy science, most of its methods follow legitimate science.

Physiognomy and Face Reading

Your face speaks even before you do. The turn of your nose, the curve of your eyebrow, the taper of your chin, or the shape of your face points to specific personality traits. Sometimes, specialists can even diagnose an illness, spot an underlying health condition or discern a future health complication just by looking at your face. Similarly, even though actors can hide their feelings to portray what is expected, an experienced face reader can decipher their true feelings from their facial features.

While physiognomy is as real as it gets, your ability to read someone’s character does not match that of a professional face reader. However, you can perceive someone’s lifestyle behaviors from their facial appearance. For instance, red eyes can portray that one smokes or is allergic to dust.

Next, you can consider reading: Is It Always a Wise Idea to Apply for Loans?

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