In case you still don't know it yet, politicians do have their own image consultants and styling team-but for what? To make themselves look good in front of their audience of course. After all, although intelligence is a very important factor in choosing leadership, people size them up based on their appearance. And according to one study, they choose based on how these future leaders look physically.
A group of researchers of VU University Amsterdam led by Brian Spisak discovered that while people choose leaders based on intelligence and physical attributes, they normally base their decisions on the latter.
To come up with such a conclusion, they conducted an experiment participated by more than 145 men and women who then sat in front of the computer screen, choosing the ideal leader among the many types of faces in the database.
They selected their leaders based on the following situations: competition against another group, exploitation of present organizational resources, group teamwork or cooperation, and exploration of new alternatives or change.
Although the images belonged to the same person, they had been altered to make them look more or less physically attractive and intelligent. One key feature that had to be adjusted is the bone structure of the jaw as a strong jawbone suggests less intelligence.
Upon analyzing the results, the researchers found out that while intelligence matters in some cases, almost 70% of the participants went for physical attractiveness.
As to what these people looked for physically, they tend to favor faces with glowing skin, a common trait of those maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially diet. According to Spisak, leaders who appeared healthier are also considered to be more likeable, ambitious, and trustworthy.
They also discovered that when it comes to organizational change, people prefer those with a younger-looking face.
To read more about the study, you can go to Frontiers in Human Neuroscience website.