It’s hard to forget it’s an election year. Whether you’re knocking on doors or knocking your head against the wall, the election will come to an end on November 8. But what role will smiles play in voters’ choices?
Smiles can influence elections.
In a crowded political field, votes can come down to subliminal qualities. Candidates who smile in campaign photos have improved polling outcomes, compared to those who don’t smile, according to a recent political psychology study. It’s a fine line for tough-as-nails politicians, as smiling is a submissive behavior.
In fact, smiling revealed the loser of martial arts matches. These findings would have voters believe smiling is an prediction of our next president. However, as contentious as politics is, it’s not a MMA fight.
The science of smiling is subtle in politics.
For voters, a smile is a glimpse into a candidate’s personality. A speech is scripted—smiles are not. If a candidate shows a subdued smile in the face of crowd cheers, it may indicate bashfulness. People who smile while their opponents are attacked can signal vindictiveness.
One smile is not better than the other, but it should be consistent with the message. If a candidate is speaking about hope for the future, his or her smile should appear happy, not staged or contemptuous.
No matter whom you vote for in the local or national election, take a glance at the grin.