Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Do we vote for people who look like us ?

Seems like we do. Esp. if we are weak partisans or independents. We seem to be more favorably disposed to vote for someone who looks like us that is shares many of our own facial characterstics. Stanford University had done an interesting study on this ahead of the 2004 Presidential election.

Would be interesting to see how this plays out in the 2008 elections.

Maybe with Obama's mixed parentage both the African-American and White populations see a little bit of themselves in him. Or everybody see's their favorite grandpa in John McCain. Wonder how that all plays out :

Facial Identity Capture and Presidential Candidate Preference

To test the effect of facial identity capture on vote choice, we passively acquired digital photographs of a national random sample of voting aged citizens. One week before the 2004 presidential election, participants completed a survey of their attitudes concerning George Bush and John Kerry while viewing photographs of both candidates side by side (See Figure 1). For a random one-third of the subjects, their own faces were morphed with Kerry while unfamiliar faces were morphed with Bush. For a different one-third, their own faces were morphed with Bush while unfamiliar faces were morphed with Kerry. The remaining one-third of the sample viewed un-morphed pictures of the candidates.

Post-experiment interviews demonstrated that not a single person detected that his or her image had been morphed into the photograph of the candidate. Participants were more likely to vote for the candidate morphed with their own face than the candidate morphed with an unfamiliar face. The effects of facial identity capture on candidate support were concentrated among weak partisans and independents; for "card carrying" members of the Democratic and Republican parties, the manipulation made little difference.

1 comment:

Speedmaster said...

>> Do we vote for people who look like us?

I'd like to think not, but I'm sure that many do, sadly.

I continue to read and hear many fawning over how great it would be to have a woman or black person in the office. Those sentiments seems like the very definition of sexism and racism.

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