2006–2010

Faces of Politicians: Babyfacedness Predicts Inferred Competence but Not Electoral Success

Reprint No. 2009:37

Author(s): Panu Poutvaara, Henrik Jordahl and Niclas BerggrenYear: 2009 Title: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology Volume (No.): 45 (5) Pages: 1132–1135
Online article (restrictions may apply)


Recent research has documented that competent-looking political candidates do better in US 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 2772 respondents of the facial appearance of 1785 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.


Reference:
Poutvaara, Panu, Henrik Jordahl and Niclas Berggren (2009), "Faces of Politicians: Babyfacedness Predicts Inferred Competence but Not Electoral Success". Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45(5), 1132–1135.

Niclas Berggren

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Ph: +46 8 665 4520
niclas.berggren@ifn.se

Henrik Jordahl

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Ph: +46 8 665 4533
Mob: +46 70 938 3858
henrik.jordahl@ifn.se

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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