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The Political Psychology of Democratic Citizenship$
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Eugene Borgida, Christopher M Federico, and John L Sullivan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335453

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335453.001.0001

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Shallow Cues With Deep Effects: Trait Judgments From Faces and Voting Decisions

Shallow Cues With Deep Effects: Trait Judgments From Faces and Voting Decisions

(p.73) Chapter 4 Shallow Cues With Deep Effects: Trait Judgments From Faces and Voting Decisions
The Political Psychology of Democratic Citizenship

Crystal C. Hall

Amir Goren

Shelly Chaiken

Alexander Todorov (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the impact of rapid automatic processes in political decision making. Specifically, using a dual-process framework, it argues that individuals assess candidate competence on the basis of facial appearance, and that this can predict the outcomes of both U.S. congressional and gubernatorial elections. These judgments occur quickly, and are largely independent of controlled processes. These findings illustrate the complexity of electoral decision making in complicated information environments, and suggest that even though individuals may not realize it, they often have little control over their initial impressions. The chapter concludes by examining how these findings inform our understanding of electoral politics, political persuasion, and democratic citizenship more generally.

Keywords:   automatic processing, spontaneous trait inferences, impression formation, candidate judgment, voting

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