You Can Leave Your Glasses on: Glasses Can Increase Electoral Success

Alexandra Fleischmann*, Joris Lammers, Janka I. Stoker, Jan Garretsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Does wearing glasses hurt or help politicians in elections? Although some research shows that glasses signal unattractiveness, glasses also increase perceptions of competence. In eight studies, participants voted for politicians wearing (photoshopped) glasses or not. Wearing glasses increased politicians' electoral success in the US (Study 1). independent of their political orientation (Studies 2a and 2b). This positive effect was especially strong when intelligence was important (Study 3), and even occurred if glasses were used strategically (Study 4). However, it did not extend to India (Study 5) due to different cultural associations with glasses (Study 6). Furthermore, while intelligence mediated the effect, warmth did not (Study 7). In summary, wearing glasses can robustly boost electoral success, at least in Western cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-52
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Psychology
Volume50
Issue number1
Early online date10-Dec-2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2019

Keywords

  • glasses
  • voting
  • stereotypes
  • politicians
  • election
  • FACIAL APPEARANCE
  • PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
  • PERSONALITY-TRAITS
  • ELECTION OUTCOMES
  • WEARING GLASSES
  • STEREOTYPES
  • FACES
  • PERCEPTION
  • LEADERSHIP
  • COMPETENCE

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