Right-Wing Politicians Prefer the Emotional Left
AuthorThomas, NA; Loetscher, T; Clode, D; Nicholls, MER
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sNicholls, Michael
AffiliationMelbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsThomas, N. A., Loetscher, T., Clode, D. & Nicholls, M. E. R. (2012). Right-Wing Politicians Prefer the Emotional Left. PLOS ONE, 7 (5), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036552.
Access StatusOpen Access
Physiological research suggests that social attitudes, such as political beliefs, may be partly hard-wired in the brain. Conservatives have heightened sensitivity for detecting emotional faces and use emotion more effectively when campaigning. As the left face displays emotion more prominently, we examined 1538 official photographs of conservative and liberal politicians from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States for an asymmetry in posing. Across nations, conservatives were more likely than liberals to display the left cheek. In contrast, liberals were more likely to face forward than were conservatives. Emotion is important in political campaigning and as portraits influence voting decisions, conservative politicians may intuitively display the left face to convey emotion to voters.
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