Wondering why that idiot politician got elected instead of the smarter one? It could be because of ‘face-ism.’
That’s right, discriminating because of someone’s facial features could be a type of bigotry, according to a US study.
It showed individuals with feminine-looking or naturally happy faces were consistently thought of as more trustworthy, whereas having a babyface would be seen as a sign of incompetence.
Dr Christopher Olivola, who was a co-author of the study published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, said: ‘Although we would like to think our judgments and choices are rational, impartial, consistent, and solely based on relevant information, the truth is that they are often biased by superficial and irrelevant factors.’
He added numerous studies had shown people form ‘face-ist’ impressions of aspiring leaders.
Apparently political candidates with naturally competent-looking faces were more likely to win elections, although we could think of a few who have bucked this trend.
Shifty-looking individuals, characterised by sunken cheeks, furrowed brows and eyes set close together, were more likely to be convicted of crimes.
The ideal look for a criminal would therefore be prominent cheekbones and high eyebrows, which suggested trustworthiness and honesty.