A new paper in the International Journal of Public Opinion Research describes how snap judgments of competence from looking at faces can provide good predictions of who will win. Building on earlier research, the paper describes how such judgments accurately predicted the party nominations and outcome of the US presidential election in 2008. This rule of thumb can be used to select candidates who are electable. The bad news is that people with competent-looking faces are not more competent. A link to the paper, by Armstrong, Green, Jones, and Wright can be found on the Papers Page.
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