Recent experimental studies in political psychology have shown connections between candidates’ facial appearances and voter preferences (Bull & Hawkes, 1982; Masters & Sullivan, 1989; Wanke et al., 2012). Voters use facial cues to infer politically relevant attributes such as a candidate’s ideology, competence or strength (see Carpinella & Johnson, 2012; Rule et al., 2010; Todorov et al., 2005). This paper investigates variations in facial cues associated with the “ascriptive” physical features of age, ethnicity, masculinity-femininity, and attractiveness. The theoretical expectations include the association of particular facial cues with distinctive personality traits (e.g. masculinity and youth with strength, femininity and age with compassion). By analyzing the interactions between these effects of nonverbal stimuli and the level of a candidate’ visibility – party leaders vs. constituency candidates – this paper aims to shed light on the conditions under which facial cues may influence candidate support. The experimental design is based on a CAWI post-election survey conducted in 2013 on a representative sample of Italian voters. Respondents are provided digitally altered pictures of Italian party leaders and of less-known party candidates. They are then invited to rate leaders and candidates on a ‘feeling thermometer,’ a set of trait terms, and to express their propensity to vote for them. Using a series of split-sample experiments, different respondents are provided with manipulated versions of the same candidate’s picture. The manipulations (all implemented using the FaceGen Modeler software) make the target candidate appear younger or older, more masculine or more feminine (for male candidates), more or less attractive (for female candidates), and either darker or lighter in skin tone (for candidates of African origin).
|Titolo:||What’s in a Face? : Facial Cues and Candidate Support|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica|
|Citazione:||What’s in a Face? : Facial Cues and Candidate Support / M. Barisione, S. Iyengar. ((Intervento presentato al convegno ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) General Conference tenutosi a Bordeaux nel 2013.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|