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The nicer the smile, the more votes are cast?

Sebastian Jäckle is investigating the role a candidate’s appearance plays during political elections

Freiburg, Jan 02, 2020

Can a beautiful smile decide elections? Do attractive politicians have better chances than their competitors? Dr. Sebastian Jäckle from the Department of Political Science at the University of Freiburg and two colleagues have analyzed the appearance of more than 500 candidates for the post of Bundestag director and candidates for the House of Representatives in the USA. In an online survey, the researchers presented test persons with photos of two candidates who were competing against each other in a constituency. The participants provided information on whom they found more attractive, more competent or more likable. The researchers compared these statements with the respective election results. Their conclusion is: Being beautiful helps, but it is not enough. In the end, a candidate’s success also depends on other factors.