Democrats and Republicans Appear to Have Their Own Look

There’s something that I’ve noticed for quite a while about Republicans.  I can spot them a mile away.  There’s a certain look that especially men have when they are a Republican.  I’ve often referred to it as the LEGO look because they appear to have hair similar to LEGO characters.  You know the plastic, snap-on style.  I’ve noticed the facial expressions and demeanor of Republican men are strikingly different than more liberal guys too.

It turns out that that Republicans and Democrats indeed do have their own look and most of us a pretty good and guessing what someone’s political ideology is just by looking at a picture of their face but what exactly is behind the “look”?

The Republican Look


By US Senate – Email from the Office of Senator Marco Rubio, Public Domain, Link

The Democrat Look


By The White House from Washington, DC – V011013DL-0556, Public Domain, Link

Well, just looking at the pictures above of Marco Rubio, a Republican, and Vice-President Joe Biden, a Democrat, there’s some obvious differences.  Joe Biden is your classic Democratic guy.  He’s more laid-back, friendly, a little goofy, full of personality and charm.  Marco Rubio is your classic Republican guy.  He’s more rigid, plastic, and reserved.  He doesn’t look unfriendly or unapproachable but he doesn’t look like near the fun that Joe is.  So, let’s see what the study says.

First of all, I didn’t read through the study before I got to this point in the blog post.  I wanted to see if what I thought “the look” was for Democrats and Republicans was the same that the authors of the study discovered.  I had noticed that Republicans seem more rigid, while Democrats seem more approachable.  I was half right.  Democrats are seen as more  “warm”, while Republicans are perceived to be more “powerful”. I suppose appearing more rigid could be correlated with power but I’m not entirely convinced on that one.  Likeability of a person’s face wasn’t a factor in determining whether a person is a Republican or Democrat.  Apparently, we are equally as likeable or unlikable regardless of our politics.

The main takeaway of the study is the “importance of the face in expressing and interpreting social identities.”  Although there are always those of us who fall outside predictable patterns, there certainly appears to be a look that correlates with our political ideology.

So basically, the Republican look:


By Kevin PluckFlickr: The King., CC BY 2.0, Link

The Democrat Look


By Golden Trvs Gol twisterOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Well, it’s true!  Though, the study didn’t say anything about LEGO hair.

If you would like to read the full study visit:  http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0008733

References

Rule, Nicholas O. “Democrats and Republicans Can Be Differentiated from Their Faces.” PLOS One 2010.

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