Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Distinguish Democrats and Republicans from their faces.

Here is a quirky item... it turns out that we can guess the political affiliation of someone, more accurately than by chance, by looking at their photograph. Faces perceived to be more powerful are more likely to be perceived as Republicans. Faces perceived as warmer are more likely to also be perceived as Democrats!


  1. Now if we could only couple power and care. Rollo May argues that the ultimate power is the power of being which is expressed as a power of integration. Other expressions of power- force, coercion e.g. are merely facsimiles.

    So how do we who live from integrative power, develop powerful faces? Or- maybe our task is to change the face of power?

  2. I wonder about the possible results with "before and after" pictures of people who eventually changed their voting preference during the course of their lives. Would the change be noticeable? Would guessing errors be skewed toward the most current partisanship, the previous, or would it be random?

  3. According to a couple of longitudinal studies that I've seen there are very few voting preference changes, like a couple of percent.

    The study on voting preferences that did it for me (sorry, no ref) was the one that found you could have a reasonable guess at a persons voting preferences by looking around their bedroom: tidy=republican, messy=democrat. That allows you to say "I believe X because I have a messy/tidy bedroom" and saves a lot of time and effort on argument and justification.