(STUDY FINDS) -- FREIBURG, Germany — Political researchers and pundits have long wondered if voters are more inclined to support a particular candidate based off of their physical looks and attractiveness. Now, two recent studies conducted in Germany are offering up an answer to this political conundrum. While looking good may sway some voters towards a particular candidate — especially for Americans, researchers say that actual policies and party affiliations ultimately make the biggest impact on voters’ decisions.
The first study focused on the 2017 German federal election, and researchers concluded that candidates did in fact benefit from attractive looks, as well as appearing “competent” in photographs taken during the campaign trail. Overall, the model used for the study found that a candidate considered more attractive than his or her rival can enjoy an electoral advantage of up to 3.8 percentage points.
“The positive aspect of attractiveness may be the strongest, however direct candidates who are rated as more competent also do significantly better than those who are seen to be less competent,” explains Dr. Sebastian Jäckle from the University of Freiburg’s Department of Political Science in a statement.
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