12

The Guardian recently reported this:

It is a finding unlikely to prove popular with Guardian readers, but a study has concluded that attractive people are more likely to be rightwing.

The study has been widely reported elsewhere. The text of the study can be read here.

This paper has been confused with an earlier paper on the attractiveness of political candidates in some news sources. But this paper reports the related conclusion:

We show that politicians on the right look more beautiful in Europe, the United States and Australia.

Either way, it is the right-wing that seems to get the attractiveness.

Can we trust the results and do they justify the headlines? Is there any evident this applies in countries other than the USA (where the study took place)?

  • 1
    The Cambridge Journal it is published in is a peer-reviewed journal. But it isn't the same journal that the Guardian story claimed the paper was published in (same authors, though). The confusion may arise because a related paper was published in the Journal of Political Economics by different authors on the attractiveness of political candidates. – matt_black Jan 31 '18 at 16:44
  • 7
    Snide jokes aside, this sounds like an unanswerable question unless someone's willing to set a singular standard for what is or isn't physically attractive. Bear in mind that the right wing in the USA thinks Ann Coulter looks like a goddess and compares Michelle Obama unfavourably to farm animals and primates... – Shadur Jan 31 '18 at 18:16
  • 1
    @Shadur The paper proposes a way around the apparent subjectivity of attractiveness. So it isn't just some arbitrary thing (unless someone wants to critique their actual methods, which would be fine). – matt_black Jan 31 '18 at 18:21
  • 3
    It is likely that ANES is biased, but why would they be biased in favor of the right wing? They are to support social scientists, teachers, students, policy makers, and journalists. Of that group, all skew liberal (left wing) except possibly policy makers. This kind of trend is easily explained as right wingers care more about physical experience than left wingers and thus tend to reproduce with more attractive people. Or rich people are more likely to be right wing and reproduce with attractive people. Case in point: Melania Trump. – Brythan Feb 1 '18 at 7:03
  • 2
    I’ll go on a limb and say that this is almost entirely explained by the difference in variance, as shown on the OKCupid blog (= right-wing people are more aesthetically uniform and reward conformance with that ideal; left-wing people are more individual and reward individuality). – Konrad Rudolph Feb 1 '18 at 14:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .