I for example have my bias towards writers with a profile picture that shows that they are a bit older - I just believe that ultimately lifetime equals experience that can only be beneficial for writing hubs... I am not suggesting that any form of bias is a good thing and I hope we are moving away from it, but till that point I am sure a profile pictures can greatly influence how you or your expertise are being received. Have you ever noticed a difference in the response to your hubs when your profile picture revealed/did not reaveal you gender, ethnicity or age?
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Thanks Sherry for sharing! I agree, sometimes the prejudices work for you, sometimes they work against you...
Thanks for the elaborate answer! And an interesting point about fe/male authors - have you read Malcom Gladwell's books by any chance? He writes about some interesting incident, too, similar to your described one!
I agree that not using your own profile picture (someone else's or some avatar) might very often be caused by the wish of not being judged - as too old, too young, to pretty, too ugly, too not-white or whatever else... We should remember that!
Well, that is not a bad point. Like this you can use prejudice to keep people out who wouldn't want to connect with you for your believes for example - or with whom you might not wish to connect.