Faces of politicians: Babyfacedness predicts inferred competence but not electoral success
Recent 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.
|Date of creation:||18 Jun 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2009, pages 1132-1135.|
|Note:||Forthcoming in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology|
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- 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.
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