Very smart stuff. My own “research” and self-observation seem to show that the brain, since wired for face recognition/reading and face-to-face interaction, prefers to deal with faces.

The same messages (e.g. on your Twitter profile without 1 pic/avatar per tweet) appear somehow less interesting/engaging, more dull.

Any list of e.g. comments is easier to read with profile pic/avatar as the visual anchor, and people will make unconscious determinations about the information between image vs. no image/default image.

And ANY images tend to be preferred over text-only. Go to e.g. and see how interested you are at a gut level in reading the posts at the top WITH post pic thumbnail, and those toward the bottom where the pics are omitted to save load time.

BTW, change your blog comment sections to “show all comments”, even from new commenters, you can moderate later if necessary. It somehow feels dumb to put in the effort to write a decent comment, and then get “we’ll see about this… aWAITing moderation”.