Young et al., Assoc. for Psych. Sci., 2013
Do our political views shape our literal views?
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, Ohio was a battleground. Thousands of election commercials aired. Escaping candidates' faces was impossible.
Meet Ohio State University psychologist Russell Fazio. Fazio wondered: Could a candidate’s image look different to people with different views?
He had college students view hundreds of headshots of Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Each voted on which images they felt looked most like Romney. But the images were all the same. Just shaded differently.
Next he created composite photos. One was based on images favored by right-leaning students. The other by left-leaning students.
Lastly, other students voted on which composite image looked more trustworthy. Almost everyone's choice? The right-leaning student’s Romney.
Meaning Romney's supporters' positive mental image of Romney let them unknowingly choose more subtly flattering physical images, which then appealed to both sides.
But I’m still voting “yes” on “no.” And “no” on “yes.” Not negotiable.
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