Apparently You Can Judge A Book By Its Cover

“Never judge a cover by its book.” -Fran Lebowitz

This article, appearing in PLoS One, concludes that you can identify a person’s political affiliation simply by seeing their face. From the article:

“Here we found that individuals’ political affiliations could be accurately discerned from their faces. In Study 1, perceivers were able to accurately distinguish whether U.S. Senate candidates were either Democrats or Republicans based on photos of their faces. Study 2 showed that these effects extended to Democrat and Republican college students, based on their senior yearbook photos. Study 3 then showed that these judgments were related to differences in perceived traits among the Democrat and Republican faces. Republicans were perceived as more powerful than Democrats. Moreover, as individual targets were perceived to be more powerful, they were more likely to be perceived as Republicans by others. Similarly, as individual targets were perceived to be warmer, they were more likely to be perceived as Democrats.”

This paper follows a paper published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology which concludes that people can identify sexual orientation in men just by looking at their faces.

And another paper published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in which,

“researchers demonstrated that perceivers were able to do this even when they were shown only individual features of the target’s face. For example, when shown only the eye region (“without brows and cropped to the outer canthi so that not even “crow’s-feet” were visible”), perceivers were amazingly still able to accurately identify a man as being gay.”

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