Political Candidates, Physical Appearance of

Candidates for political office normally form a societal elite. Most of them possess high levels of education, prestigious careers, and the necessary human and financial resources and connections to run for office. Yet, beyond these qualities there is another feature that, under certain circumstances, significantly improves the electability of individuals running for public office: their physical appearance. A large body of empirical research has shown that, in particular, the physical attractiveness of candidates has an important impact on their electoral fortune. In brief, candidates deemed attractive by voters can receive a vote premium of several percentage points in elections.

Societal and Psychological Foundations of the “Beauty Premium”

Physical attractiveness carries positive connotations that go beyond the mere idea of beauty. Research in various disciplines shows that what ...

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