Why are we so influenced by such apparently trivial characteristics as voice and looks? In our evolutionary past they served as proxies for health, vigor and overall fitness (in both the physical and evolutionary sense). Such cognitive shortcuts remain necessary today because in a world abuzz with information overload, it isn't possible to rationally analyze all incoming data. So, on Election Day, try to override your predictably irrational propensity to succumb to these influences and engage your rational brain to vote the issues and not the person.
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN ONLINE
Comment on this article at ScientificAmerican.com/oct2012
This article was originally published with the title Politically Irrational.