The study of voting behaviour remains a vibrant sub-discipline of political science. The Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an authoritative and wide ranging survey of this dynamic field, drawing together a team of the world's leading scholars to provide a state-of-the-art review that sets the agenda for future study. Taking an interdisciplinary approach and focusing on a range of countries, the handbook is composed of eight parts. The first five cover the principal theoretical paradigms, establishing the state of the art in their conceptualisation and application, and followed by chapters on their specific challenges and innovative applications in contemporary voting studies. The remaining three parts explore elements of the voting process to understand their different effects on vote outcomes. The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an essential benchmark publication for advanced students, researchers and practitioners in the fields of politics, sociology, psychology and research methods.
Chapter 30: Candidate Attractiveness
Empirical election research discovered the physical attractiveness of candidates for political offices and mandates as a research subject only very late. The two groundbreaking studies by the Ann Arbor School (Campbell et al., 1954; Campbell et al., 1960) had already drawn attention to the fundamental importance of the political candidates themselves in deciding elections. However, these two pioneering studies of social–psychological explanatory style did not yet focus on the physical attractiveness of the candidates. This is quite astonishing, as candidate orientation is described in The Voter Decides as a ‘response to the personal attributes of the candidates’ (Campbell et al., 1954: 136), and physical attractiveness is indisputably one of ...