Thursday, October 23, 2008

Voters Swayed by Candidates Who Look Like Them


In three experiments, the researchers and their graduate students worked with cheap, easy-to-use computer software to morph pictures of about 600 test subjects with photos of politicians. And they kept coming up with the same results: For the would-be voters who weren't very familiar with the candidates or in perfect lockstep with their positions or political parties, the facial similarity was enough to clinch their votes.

One group was shown untainted pictures of both candidates. A second group had their photos morphed with a picture of Bush. And the third group had their photos spliced with a picture of Kerry. The doctored photos blended 40 percent of the test subjects' facial features with 60 percent of the candidates' natural looks—a ratio the researchers decided could change a photo enough without anyone consciously noticing.

Those who had their photos combined with Bush gave the Republican a 13-point victory, while those blended with Kerry gave the Democrat a 7-point advantage.

Stanford


We are all organisms.

We seek to establish ourselves in the world and reproduce, making ourselves better.

To this end, we feel familial loyalty to those genetically like us -- genetic similarity generally means similar appearance.

This explains the racial divide in the current election, and why multiculturalism has not provided a functional government throughout the examples we have of it in history.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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