GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was criticized for $150,000 spent on her wardrobe, hair and makeup.Women running for top offices need to appear competent and attractive, according to a new study. For male candidates, seeming competent may be enough.
Women running for top offices need to appear competent and attractive, according to a new study. For male candidates, seeming competent may be enough.
Scientists have discovered the "Beauty Bounce" does exist and that for female candidates having a pretty face really does win votes from both men and women.
The research suggests that the much-vaunted £100,000 spent on Sarah Palin, the vice presidential hopeful's wardrobe and the high salary of her make-up artist really is money well spent.
The study by Northwestern University in Chicago found that while the perception of competence was the biggest vote winner, for women at least beauty could give them an extra boost - especially among men.
"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," said Joan Chiao, assistant professor of psychology at the university..
The team of researchers asked 73 people (35 male and 38 female) to look at the faces of 106 relatively unknown congressional candidates from the 2006 House of Representatives election.
They were asked to rate them on a number of factors including competence, attractiveness and approachability on a scale of one to seven, from 'not at all' to 'very much'.
They were then later asked if they would vote for the same candidates for president.
Overall, voters perceived the faces of male politicians as more competent and dominant relative to female politicians; female politicians were perceived as more attractive and approachable relative to males.
Candidates who were perceived as more attractive by men were more likely to win votes in the actual Congressional election, Prof Chiao noted.
The research, published in the Public Library of Science One journal, found that attractiveness was not a factor for male candidates.
For men voting for male candidates it was all about competence whereas for women it was a mixture of competence and approachability.
（英语点津 姗姗 编辑）