A new U study by T Scarborough found that liberals and conservatives are different in their perception of women’s rule, which can change their choice of vote for them in politics.
“We’ve seen that conservatives and liberals read power signals differently in the eyes of men and women,” said Pankaj Aggarwal, a professor of commerce in the tourism industry at U of T. Scarborough.
“These are important ideas for politics, women stereotyping and how we should perceive leadership roles in society.”
Aggarwal and co-author Ahreum Maeng, a professor at the University of Kansas, looked at the width-to-height ratio of an eye that measures feelings of power. Usually, a person with a narrow face is seen as more powerful and has strong leadership qualities than a person with a narrow face.
In a series of experiments, the researchers found that men’s wide eyes were found to be more powerful, but less similar to women’s eyes.
Political thought is an important responsibility
One of the lessons is about exposing conservatives and liberals to the eyes of men and women candidates and asking them to rate their potential for election to political office. Men with broad faces are more likely to be more powerful and selective, but women with broad faces are not the same.
Researchers found that conservatives reported a stronger visibility of women and were less likely to choose a female candidate because of a group perceived as low power. Liberals have expressed their preference for women, but like conservatives, they do not see women with a broader face as more powerful.
“While there is a male stereotype to begin with for liberals, it is not strong, and on average, they choose women and think of women as leaders,” Aggarwal said.
He said one reason for this difference comes from conservatives who believe in maintaining social hierarchies, while liberals are trying hard to eliminate this notion and create a smaller community.
Why people see the broader face as more powerful and suitable for leadership, Aggarwal says about explaining evolutionary psychology. In traditional societies, men held leadership roles through anger and were considered important.
“People have grown to see bigger faces that are more powerful, and that perception can be changed by stereotypes.” He added that traditionally, men were considered more powerful and aggressive, while women were considered more humble and caring.
The research, published in The Journal of the Society for Consumer Intelligence, raises an interesting question about what can be done to prevent this phenomenon. Although gender equality prevailed in many organizations, female leaders were often chosen rather than men. Part of the reason may be that people read the candidates’ eyewitness accounts.
Aggarwal said it is important to be aware of traditional ideas and stereotypes and try to combat them. He said it was important not to leave them wondering about the choice of a candidate.
“You may have a good idea, but these ideas may not be obvious,” says Aggarwal, whose research focuses on brand anthropomorphism, the idea that human characteristics are often assigned to companies and products.
“These ideas can be powerful, so I think the most important thing is to know and try not to be led by them.”
Women are known to be happy and men are angry despite their true intentions
Ahreum Maeng et al, The Face of Political Beliefs: Why a man needs to vote, The Journal of the Society for Consumer Intelligence (2022). DOI: 10.1086 / 719579
Presented by the University of Toronto
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