Inferences of Competence from faces predict election outcomes.

Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 07/2005; 308(5728):1623-6. DOI: 10.1126/science.1110589
Source: PubMed


We show that inferences of competence based solely on facial appearance predicted the outcomes of U.S. congressional elections better than chance (e.g., 68.8% of the Senate races in 2004) and also were linearly related to the margin of victory. These inferences were specific to competence and occurred within a 1-second exposure to the faces of the candidates. The findings suggest that rapid, unreflective trait inferences can contribute to voting choices, which are widely assumed to be based primarily on rational and deliberative considerations.

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Available from: Amir Goren, Jan 31, 2014
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    • "Welsh and Guy (2009) have explored the influence of hair loss or baldness on possible social and psychological implications of appearance disturbance, while van Leeuwen et al. (2009) have examined the influence of attractiveness on imitation intentions. Moreover, Little et al. (2007) and Todorov et al. (2005) have shown that inferences of competence are based solely on facial appearance and, in the case of politics, can often predict election outcomes. According to Todorov et al. (2008), we reliably and automatically make personality inferences from facial appearance, despite little evidence of accuracy. "
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    DESCRIPTION: Highlights Research is done as an experimental study with experimental and comparative groups. The assessment of physical attractiveness is common in the service encounter. There is a correlation between customer attractiveness and quality of service. Employees should be trained not to allow guest appearance to influence the service. Social workers are trained not to let clients’ appearance affect service rendered.
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    • "Assigning people to one of the four stereotypes allows swift judgment of others (Harris and Fiske, 2007). The face evaluation model also proposed that two similar major axes, trustworthiness/valence and dominance/power, define face assessment (Todorov et al., 2005, 2008). This model proposes that people use facial features to evaluate others within this 2D space, and these evaluations predict the outcome of social behaviors as significant as election results. "
    Dataset: mmc2

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    • "Mueller and Mazur (1996) found that naı¨ve ratings of dominance obtained from the graduation portraits of West Point military cadets predicted the number of rank promotions conferred upon the cadets after 20 years of military service. Todorov et al. (2005) showed that the results of US congressional elections could be predicted at levels above chance by naı¨ve ratings of political candidates' competence. Rule and Ambady (2008, 2009) obtained the professional website photographs of chief executive officers (CEOs) in the Fortune 1000 and found that naı¨ve ratings of power and leadership predicted company profits. "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined whether the grade point averages (GPAs) of university students could be predicted from appearance-based ratings of their Conscientiousness. Undergraduate participants (N = 249) provided self-reports of their Big Five personality traits and copies of their student transcripts from which their GPAs were obtained. Photographs of these undergraduates were then taken from which their personality traits were judged by unacquainted perceivers. Both aggregated and single perceiver-ratings of Conscientiousness predicted GPA. Aggregated perceiver-ratings predicted GPA incrementally over self-ratings, suggesting that appearance-based judgements of Conscientiousness may contain trait-relevant information beyond the scope of self-reports. These results contribute to a growing literature documenting the validity of appearance-based judgements of personality traits.
    Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 05/2015; 39(4). DOI:10.1007/s10919-015-0213-9 · 1.77 Impact Factor
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