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Old 10-31-2008, 11:18 AM   #706
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Studies Find a Candidate's Looks Matter

Jeanna Bryner
Senior Writer

livescience.com Fri Oct 31, 12:07 am ET

Voters look for someone who appears both competent and attractive when choosing a president, at least when the candidate is female, finds a new study.

If true, the reportedly astronomical fees spent on vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's appearance could have been right on the money.

"Campaign managers seem to be ahead of the game in understanding that image really matters," said Joan Y. Chiao, a psychologist at Northwestern University in Illinois. "They know that, contrary to popular notions, people are not necessarily using deliberate and rational strategies in deciding whom to vote for, especially when it comes to women."

Male and female voters

Chiao and her colleagues asked a group of more than 70 undergraduate students, about evenly split between females and males, to judge a series of male and female political candidates on how competent, dominant, attractive and approachable they seemed based on their facial appearances.

Then participants looked at images showing pairs of political candidates and indicated which candidate they would vote for in a hypothetical election for U.S. president.

Overall, participants judged male faces as more competent and dominant than females. And the participants perceived female faces as more attractive and approachable than males.

All participants were most likely to vote for candidates who appeared more competent. However, male candidates who appeared more approachable and female candidates who appeared more attractive were most likely to win votes.

Both male and female participants in the study were most likely to vote for women candidates seen as attractive and competent.

"Even female voters seemed to tap into the cultural expectation that women who are attractive as well as competent are more worthy of high status roles," Chiao said.

The results, detailed online in the Oct. 31 issue of the journal PLoS ONE, diverged for male candidates. Male voters were more likely to vote for a guy only if that candidate appeared competent, while female voters preferred a male candidate who was both competent and approachable.

Voting on the brain

Another recent study also shows that facial looks matter for political candidates. The study, published online this week in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, suggests that negative views about a person's facial appearance could cost that candidate the election.

The researchers used functional MRI scans to measure brain blood oxygenation of participants as they made decisions about pairs of political candidates based solely on the candidates' photos. The candidates had run in elections in 2002, 2004 or 2006. In some cases, the participants had to cast a hypothetical vote and in others they made character judgments about each candidate, including which of the two looked more competent to hold a congressional office or looked more physically threatening.

When participants viewed photos of politicians who lost elections, in the lab and in the actual elections, brain areas associated with processing emotions showed activity. The results suggest negative evaluations of a candidate based on appearance affect real election outcomes, said lead researcher Michael Spezio, a psychologist at Scripps College and a visiting associate at Caltech.

The researchers stress that the brain effects seen, while statistically significant, were small. In addition, the results likely only apply to voters who know very little about the political candidates, and in general, appearance is just one piece of the political puzzle.

"We are not claiming that how the candidates look is all there is to the story of how voters make up their minds - or that this is even the biggest part of the story," said Ralph Adolphs, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Caltech. "However, we do think it has some effect - and, moreover, that this effect may be largest when voters know little else about a candidate."
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:22 AM   #707
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Poll shows Obama up by 13 in NH

By The Associated Press | October 30, 2008

THE POLL: Suffolk University/ WHDH-TV poll in the presidential, U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races in New Hampshire of 600 likely voters.

THE NUMBERS: President: Barack Obama, 53 percent, John McCain, 40 percent.

OF INTEREST: Women are supporting Obama by a 60 percent-to-35 percent margin. Obama also is leading in all regions of the state and in all age groups.

DETAILS: Telephone poll of 600 likely voters conducted Oct. 27-29 by the Suffolk University Political Research Center for Suffolk University/WHDH-TV in Boston. Sampling margin of error plus or minus 4 percentage points.

MORE:

Suffolk University - Obama Up by 13 in NH, with Strong Support from Women
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:25 AM   #708
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Studies Find a Candidate's Looks Matter
I'm surprised this is new enough information to warrant a whole study. Haven't we known this since the televised Nixon/Kennedy debate?
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:48 AM   #709
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I just got a robocall from our Gov here in MD, urging us to vote Yes for slot machines.

If you're gonna robocall me, at least make it on an issue worth my time.
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:24 PM   #710
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I'm surprised this is new enough information to warrant a whole study. Haven't we known this since the televised Nixon/Kennedy debate?
Word. That reminds me of something Samantha said on Sex and the City, "The country runs better when there's a good-looking man in the White House. Look at Nixon. Nobody wanted to fuck him, so he fucked everybody."
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:16 PM   #711
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2008 Presidential Discussion

I'm voting for Obama. I have never heard so many ridiculous statements like the ones accusing Obama of being a socialist.
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:30 PM   #712
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Originally Posted by U2isthebest View Post
Word. That reminds me of something Samantha said on Sex and the City, "The country runs better when there's a good-looking man in the White House. Look at Nixon. Nobody wanted to fuck him, so he fucked everybody."
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:34 PM   #713
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I've lost belief in intellectuals.

I thought conservatives weren't suppose to have faith in them to begin with...They're elitest.
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:35 PM   #714
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Word. That reminds me of something Samantha said on Sex and the City, "The country runs better when there's a good-looking man in the White House. Look at Nixon. Nobody wanted to fuck him, so he fucked everybody."
That's just funny.
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:41 PM   #715
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I thought conservatives weren't suppose to have faith in them to begin with...They're elitest.
Sure beats the hell out of thinking for yourself.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:20 PM   #716
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Biden had a rally today at Trent Arena(Kettering - suburb of Dayton - Ohio)...which is part of the campus of the high school I graduated from in 2003(this building wasn't there yet, it was built after I graduated). It's a hop and a skip away from my house. I pass by it all the time. So my mom and I went. It was great time, lots of energy. Our camera wasn't working properly though so we don't know how many of our pictures came out ok. The speech was great but it could have been longer - it was probably about 20-30 minutes long. We spent more time waiting for him to get there(he was running late) then he spent talking once he got there. While waiting, there was a Palin-lookalike dressed in a suit and glasses carrying around Macy's bags and letting people take pictures with her They have the same handful of songs on a loop over the PA, and we went through it at least twice while waiting for Biden & co. to arrive. John Sweeney, the president of AFL-CIO, and one of the chief guys from the local Obama office spoke, and then there was a good 30-40 minute wait for the main attraction. I knew the motorcade had arrived when a line of 10 or so people walked into the gym one after another with video camera and tripod bags over their shoulders, with their campaign ID around their necks and began setting their equipment up on the media platform(where some others were already set up). Then some lady walked in front of the crowd and said, 'He's here.' Then a few minutes after that Jill was introduced, and then she introduced Joe.

When we were leaving, there was a group of pro-McCain protesters on the street holding up signs that said things like 'Vote McCain, Not Hussein', and 'Vote to fight terrorism'(or something like that, I can't remember, might've been 'vote for the candidate that will fight/protect us from terrorism'...I'm having trouble remembering), and 'School Indoctrination In Progress'(because Trent Arena is part of the high school). That last one is my favorite. See, McCain himself had a rally there in the exact same room as Biden did today four days ago on Monday. I wonder if that person was complaining about school indoctrination then. After we passed them, my mom began shouting 'bigot!' at the guy holding up the 'Vote McCain, not Hussein' sign and 'idiots!' at the lot of them in general(don't take that as an insult towards all McCain supporters necessarily, the signs this particular group were holding up were absurd). That was pretty funny.

It was a really interesting and enjoyable experience.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:28 PM   #717
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Go Mom!!
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:34 PM   #718
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^Speaking of that, one of my best friends has very racist grandparents who own a convenience store in our city. They've actually tried to intimidate my friend and her brother, who are supporting Obama. My mom was in the store today buying some pop and talking to Lindsay's grandma. Mom said it took every bit of self-control to not yell "Go Obama" as she was walking out just to see their reactions.
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:12 PM   #719
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What part of that comment/reasoning don't you understand?
You can't see the ass protection in those statements?
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:15 PM   #720
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You can't see the ass protection in those statements?
No, I don't see ass protection. I see a balanced statement.
It's not a black and white world.
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