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Working Paper No. 139. Faces of politicians

PublicationWorking paper
Företagandets villkor, Förtroende, Niclas Berggren, Panu Poutvaara, Val
Working Paper No. 139.
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Abstract

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.

Poutvaara, P., Jordahl, H. & Berggren, N. (2009). Faces of politicians: Babyfacedness predicts inferred competence but not electoral success. Ratio Working Paper No. 139.

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Working Paper No. 139. Faces of politicians
Working paperPublication
Poutvaara, P., Jordahl, H. & Berggren, N.
Publication year

2009

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

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.

Faces of Politicians: Babyfacedness Predicts Inferred Competence but Not Electoral Success
Article (with peer review)Publication
Poutvaara, P., Jordahl, H. & Berggren, N.
Publication year

2009

Abstract

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 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.

Faces of Politicians: Babyfacedness Predicts Inferred Competence but Not Electoral Success
Artikel (med peer review)Publication
Poutvaara, P., Jordahl, H. & Berggren, N.
Publication year

2009

Abstract

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 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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