Researchers accurately predicted the results of Super Tuesday's elections in August of last year using Australian and New Zealand school girls' snap judgments of whether the candidates looked competent.
Researchers Scott Armstrong, Kesten Green, Randy Jones, and Malcolm Wright had their interest piqued by the work of Alexander Todorov.Only a little bit scary to think that the entire process of picking a president could boil down to who looks presidential. Australian and New Zealand school girls were picked precisely because they did not know the candidates. The results of those who recognized a candidate were discounted. The full article is here.
“Todorov and co had found that snap judgments of competence based on color pictures of candidates’ faces did a good job of predicting congressional and senate races,” Prof Wright said.
“So the Wharton team decided to extend the test to the current US presidential election and from May through mid-August 2007 we worked with them to get ratings of competence, based on photos of the faces of the 24 potential contenders for their parties’ nomination as candidate for the 2008 presidential election.”