Books et al.Perception

About face

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Science  21 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6348, pp. 259
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan6311

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Summary

magine you are part of an experiment. You and your co-participants are shown photographs of two individuals and are asked to choose who is more leader-like. Unbeknownst to you, the individuals in the photographs are real-life candidates vying for a seat in the U.S. Congress. It might surprise you to learn that the average ratings of the participants in the experiment could reliably predict which candidate would go on to win the electoral contest. Are voters biased by facial appearance and their associated stereotypes? Or might it be possible that uninformed observers can detect the competence of politicians from their faces? In Face Value, Todorov has produced an impressive, well-written, and well-illustrated book that provides answers to these questions and more