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The voters were told nothing about the candidates, who were running for seats in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Researchers tested voters' snap judgments about the political candidates. Attractiveness, honesty, and like ability were just some of the traits measured, but the one that stood out for voters was a candidate's competence.
Voters' competence ratings were based solely on the appearance of a candidate's face and predicted the outcomes in U.S. congressional races over five election seasons at a rate of nearly 70 percent