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The effects of perceived competence and sociability on electoral outcomes

Authors
Journal
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
0022-1031
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
45
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.06.018
Keywords
  • Competence
  • Facial Features
  • Voting Behavior
  • Political Elections
Disciplines
  • Logic

Abstract

Abstract Previous research demonstrated that inferences of competence from the face are good predictors of electoral outcomes [Todorov, A., Mandisoza, A. N., Gore, A., & Hall, C. C. (2005). Inferences of competence from faces predict election outcomes. Science, 308, 1623–1626]. In the current work we examined the role of another key dimension in social perception, namely perceived sociability. Results showed that people considered both competence and sociability, as inferred from the face, as related to higher chances of winning the elections. A different pattern emerged in relation to the actual electoral outcomes. Indeed, perceived competence was related to higher chances of winning, whereas perceived sociability was negatively related to electoral success. It is thus shown that these two fundamental dimensions in social perception exert opposite effects on voting behaviors.

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