The effects of beauty on political beliefs
A new American study has concluded that the attractiveness of a person can correlate with their political beliefs.
Last June IZA World of Labor published an article by Panu Poutvaara on how candidates’ looks affect their election chances. “Good-looking political candidates win more votes around the world…As politicians on the right have been deemed more attractive in Europe, the US, and Australia, the importance of beauty in politics favors conservative parties.”
However, the new study by Rolfe Daus Peterson of Susquehanna University and Carl L. Palmers of Illinois State University looks at how physical appearance affects someone’s political behavior. The study finds that attractive people are more likely to identify with the Republican Party in the US and are more likely to be conservative.
“Attractiveness matters. When we are treated differently we begin to perceive the world differently,” says Peterson. “Research shows good-looking people tend to get on better in life because people interact with them differently.”
“It is a well-established view amongst economist that good-looking people have a better chance of employment and can earn more than those who are less physically attractive,” writes Eva Sierminska in her article Does it pay to be beautiful?
The study reports that this beauty premium can create a blind spot for attractive individuals that leads them to not see the need for more government support of aid in society.
“Having not faced the challenges of other citizens, more attractive individuals should be less supportive of remedying these challenges for the general public,” write Peterson and Palmer. “Even though this blind spot may not be universally held and that physically attractive individuals do not always have easier lives, on average, physically attractive individuals face fewer hurdles navigating the social world.”
Related articles: Does it pay to be physically fit and beautiful?
To ask a specific question on this topic, get in touch with one of our Topic Spokespeople.