Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution mentions the study in which people were asked to judge the competency of a picture of a political candidate unknown to the participant, and “the candidate perceived as more competent was the winner in 72 percent of the Senate races and 67 percent of the House races.”
I think that Randall Parker, aka the FuturePundit sums it up really well when he says “[d]emocracy is flawed because humans are shallow and superficial.”
Kaptain Kapital thinks this isn’t a big deal. “Once again scientists tell us something we already know.”
I disagree with the Kaptain, I say that it is a big deal because this is one of those things that people secretly know but they pretend not to. Quantifying human behavior is always an interesting endeavor.
If we combine this observation with another related observation that the taller candidate is more likely to win, we might come up with a good election predictor based on height plus perception of competence.