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The Sex Factor

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Len of the Chilterns

Len of the Chilterns Report 1 Feb 2010 17:44

With the general election looming, politicians around the UK had better sits up and listen to this latest research from the Department of Economics at the University of Helsinki.

Their researchers carried out a large scale experiment on just over 10,000 people on whether attractiveness makes a difference when selecting which candidate to vote for.

Using photos of nearly 2,000 political candidates, it was found that both men and women are lured towards the candidates that they find more attractive, labeling them as being more trustworthy, intelligent, likeable and able based on their appearance.

However, even when the participants were made privy to the candidate’s education details and their occupation, it made no difference to the results.
In fact, for every small increase in attractiveness there was a much larger jump in their perceived intelligence, competence, likeability and trustworthiness said the study reported in the Telegraph this week.

The study authors said: "Are good looks an advantage in politics? For several reasons they could be.”
"If good-looking people are more persuasive, are treated better in social interaction and achieve higher occupational success they might also do better in politics.”
"Our main result is that beauty seems to help.” Attractive people are seen as more successful in general, said the study, which is true of politics as much as show business.

The decision to air-brush David Cameron’s election poster doesn’t look quite so silly now…