What is it about?

While previous studies commonly measure study participants’ subjective judgment of various characteristics of candidates, we focus on a "smile index" to determine how smiling relates to electoral outcomes. We find that smiling has a statistically significant impact on vote share of candidates.

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Why is it important?

This research develops the "smile index" through an index of images along with automated face recognition technology, which can then be applied to the context of political science research. The automated process of measuring facial traits allows us to estimate the ‘undiluted’ effects of facial appearance on election outcomes.


It was an unexpected but fun collaboration with researchers in other fields!

Professor of Government and Mitsui Professor of Japanese Studies Yusaku Horiuchi
Dartmouth College

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This page is a summary of: Should Candidates Smile to Win Elections? An Application of Automated Face Recognition Technology, Political Psychology, September 2012, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9221.2012.00917.x.
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