Times caption: Good-looking people are more likely to hold right-wing views, such as Zac Goldsmith, right, unlike Rik from the Young Ones, who regularly spouted communist slogans
A piece by Tom Whipple (Science Editor) on the front page of today’s Times, emphases ours:
There is a school of thought that all militant socialists really need is a bath, a haircut, and to find themselves a nice girlfriend. Now researchers have found that, even if they did scrub up, they would probably still be uglier than Tories.
As unlikely as it might seem to anyone who ever attended a meeting of the Young Conservatives, a study found that attractive people have a tendency to be more right-wing.
Past studies have shown that good-looking candidates have better chances in elections. But few experts have asked whether similar effects come into play among voters. “Attractiveness matters. When we are treated differently we begin to perceive the world differently,” said Rolfe Peterson, of Susquehanna University, who conducted the study with Illinois State University.
Research shows that attractive people tend to do better in life, largely because people interact with them differently. This can leave them with a blind spot when it comes to others’ hardship and result in the good-looking being less likely to back redistributive taxes and more likely to hold Tory views.
To test this idea, for a study in the journal Politics and the Life Sciences, Professor Peterson reviewed the findings of two previous surveys in which people were asked their politics and, separately, rated for attractiveness.
In one, involving more than 2,000 Americans, the interviewer gave respondents a score according to how good-looking he or she thought they were. In the other, involving more than 5,000 Americans, six people rated their high-school yearbook photos. In both cases, attractive people were more likely to be right-wing. This remained true even when correcting for income.
The findings follow a paper last year which found that socialists were more likely to be physically weak. Scientists behind that research argued the effect might be down to our stronger ancestors having had less to gain from sharing.
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