The people who show photos of politicians they have not seen before can make” better than if ” judgments about whether these politicians have been convicted of corruption.
The premise of the study is that it may seem strange, but Coussin Lin, research associate and graduate student, Caltech, begs to differ. “There is no doubt that people form first impressions of faces all the time. For example, on Dating sites, people often reject potential matches based on images without reading the profile, ” OCCRP reports.
It seems like the trick is to look at the width – technically, the width – height ratio-of politicians ‘ faces. According to the results of a previous study conducted at the University of Brock in Canada with the participation of hockey players, it was found that the width of the face in men correlates with aggressive behavior. Testosterone, a hormone associated with aggression, can affect many physical features in men, such as finger length and face width.
In a Caltech study, 100 participants were shown black-and-white photos of 72 different politicians and officials, half of whom were convicted of corruption and half of whom were not seen in corruption crimes. Participants were asked to assess how corrupt, dishonest, selfish, trustworthy or generous policies emerged.
With almost 70 per cent accuracy, participants were able to discern which policies were corrupt and which were not. Similar percentages of accuracy were recorded for politicians elected to state and local offices.
Another part of the study was aimed at determining whether the width of the face was key in establishing the guilt of the politician. The researchers digitally changed the photos of 150 politicians, of which 450 have already turned out. Them, including the original, were shown to participants to explain the corruption of officials. The photos, in which the faces were made wider, were attributed to more corrupt officials. However, according to Caltech researchers, this is not evidence that a broad face means that politics is prone to criminal life.
Scientists believe that politicians who look more corrupt may be offered bribes more often. Another possibility is that corrupt officials may be investigated and then convicted more likely.