A study conducted by Swedish and Finnish economists has shown that Swedes find politicians on the right of the political scale to be better looking than their left wing counterparts and reward them for it at the ballot box.

The increasing prominence of open list electoral systems in Sweden and other countries, has lead to an increasing importance placed on personal qualities, the researchers argued.

"One possible explanation is that people who are seen or consider themselves beautiful tend to be more anti-egalitarian and right wing," Niclas Berggren, a researcher at independent research institute Ratio in Stockholm and one of the three co-authors of the study, told The Local.

The study compared election results from parliamentary and municipal elections held in Finland in 2003 and 2004 respectively with an online poll of Swedes, Americans and other non-Finns to determine how the 1,357 participating Finnish candidates ranked in terms of beauty.

More than 2,500 non-Finns were shown photographs of each candidate, with no indication of which side of the political spectrum they stood on, and were
asked to rank them on a scale from one (very ugly) to five (very beautiful).

"We have found that candidates on the right are considered to look better than those on the left. We have also found that they benefit from this in elections - you could say that there is a form of beauty premium," Bergren said.

Bergren told The Local that there are several studies identifying this phenomenon within the business world, with good looking people earning an average 15 percent more, and the researchers wanted to study if there is an equivalent within the political sphere.

In a 2006 paper entitled "The Looks of a Winner: Beauty, Gender and Electoral Success," Bergren, together with Henrik Jordahl at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Stockholm and Panu Poutvaara at the University of Helsinki and IZA Bonn, concluded that good looks are a key part of political success.

The trio's new preliminary study entitled, “The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward It” is argued to confirm that not only do looks matter, but they matter more for the right.

"I think the right has been more conscious of looks," he said, citing the examples of Ronald Reagan and Sarah Palin in the US.

Bergren argued that this development raises questions over the increasing importance of open lists in Swedish elections, arguing that it is fair to presume that Swedish politicians also benefit from their appearance.

"The effects of beauty in western culture are universal. A stronger role for open list voting will mean an increase in the importance of beauty and the focus on personalities in politics."

"It is more Reinfeldt against Sahlin, than the issues," he argued.

Men who are physically strong are more likely to have right wing political views
Weaker men more likely to support welfare state and wealth redistribution
Link may reflect psychological traits that evolved in our ancestors
Strength was a proxy for ability to defend or acquire resources
There is no link between women's physical strength and political views

Men who are strong are more likely to take a right-wing stance, while weaker men support the welfare state, researchers claim.
Their study discovered a link between a man’s upper-body strength and their political views.
Scientists from Aarhus University in Denmark collected data on bicep size, socio-economic status and support for economic redistribution from hundreds in America, Argentina and Denmark.

The figures revealed that men with higher upper-body strength were less likely to support left-wing policies on the redistribution of wealth.
Men with less upper body strength are more likely to support the welfare state - like Labour leader Ed Miliband
Men with less upper body strength are more likely to support the welfare state - like Labour leader Ed Miliband
But men with low upper-body strength were more likely to put their own self-interest aside and support a welfare state.
The researchers found no link between upper-body strength and redistribution opinions among women.
Professor Michael Petersen said: ‘In all three countries, physically strong males consistently pursued the self-interested position on redistribution.
‘However physically weak males were more reluctant to assert their self-interest – just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation between individuals.
‘While many people think of politics as a modern phenomenon, it has, in a sense, always been with our species.
‘Political views are designed by natural selection to function in the conditions recurrent over human evolutionary history.’
The findings were published in the journal Psychological Science.
Professor Petersen added: ‘Many previous studies have shown that people's political views cannot be predicted by standard economic models.
‘This is among the first studies to show that political views may be rational in another sense, in that they're designed by natural selection to function in the conditions recurrent over human evolutionary history.’

aut1 posted:

Men with less upper body strength are more likely to support the welfare state - like Labour leader Ed Miliband

lol this article is horseshit. i have personally witnessed Labour leader Ed Miliband bench over 300lbs, on more than one occasion