Psychology: Inferences of competence from faces predict election outcomes

Alexander Todorov, Anesu N. Mandisodza, Amir Goren, Crystal C. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

759 Scopus citations

Abstract

We show that inferences of competence based solely on facial appearance predicted the outcomes of U.S. congressional elections better than chance (e.g., 68.8% of the Senate races in 2004) and also were linearly related to the margin of victory. These inferences were specific to competence and occurred within a 1-second exposure to the faces of the candidates. The findings suggest that rapid, unreflective trait inferences can contribute to voting choices, which are widely assumed to be based primarily on rational and deliberative considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1623-1626
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume308
Issue number5728
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 10 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Psychology: Inferences of competence from faces predict election outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Todorov, A., Mandisodza, A. N., Goren, A., & Hall, C. C. (2005). Psychology: Inferences of competence from faces predict election outcomes. Science, 308(5728), 1623-1626. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1110589