Most of us think we elect our leaders based on their politics. But new research reveals that it might be the candidates’ faces that count.
Anthony Little of the University of Stirling in Scotland and his colleagues modified the faces of candidates from eight different political races in the U.K., the U.S. and New Zealand. Using a computer, he combined the real faces with a picture of an “average” face made from a composite of several different people. The resulting images preserved the politicians’ important facial features but rendered the contestants unrecognizable.