Faces of Politicians: Babyfacedness Predicts Inferred Competence but Not Electoral Success
AbstractRecent research has documented that competent-looking political candidates do better in U.S. elections and that babyfaced individuals are generally perceived to be less competent than maturefaced individuals. Taken together, this suggests that babyfaced political candidates are perceived as less competent and therefore fare worse in elections. We test this hypothesis, making use of photograph-based judgments by 2,772 respondents of the facial appearance of 1,785 Finnish political candidates. Our results confirm that babyfacedness is negatively related to inferred competence in politics. Despite this, babyfacedness is either unrelated or positively related to electoral success, depending on the sample of candidates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 803.
Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 26 Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2009, pages 1132-1135.
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Babyfacedness; Competence; Beauty; Trustworthiness; Elections;
Other versions of this item:
- Poutvaara, Panu & Jordahl, Henrik & Berggren, Niclas, 2009. "Faces of politicians: Babyfacedness predicts inferred competence but not electoral success," Munich Reprints in Economics 19800, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Poutvaara, Panu & Jordahl, Henrik & Berggren, Niclas, 2009. "Faces of politicians: Babyfacedness predicts inferred competence but not electoral success," Ratio Working Papers 139, The Ratio Institute.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
- J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-07-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2009-07-11 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-CDM-2009-07-11 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2009-07-11 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2006.
"Changing looks and changing "discrimination": The beauty of economists,"
Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 405-412, December.
- Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2005. "Changing Looks and Changing "Discrimination:" The Beauty of Economists," NBER Working Papers 11712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
- Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl & Panu Poutvaara, 2011.
"The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward it,"
Working Papers CEB
11-004, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2010. "The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward it," Ratio Working Papers 161, The Ratio Institute.
- Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2011. "The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward It," IZA Discussion Papers 5513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl & Panu Poutvaara, 2010. "The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and their Voters Reward it," CESifo Working Paper Series 3310, CESifo Group Munich.
- Harry Garretsen & Janka I. Stoker & Rob Alessie & Joris Lammers, 2014. "Simply a Matter of Luck & Looks? Predicting Elections when Both the World Economy and the Psychology of Faces Count," CESifo Working Paper Series 4857, CESifo Group Munich.
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