Elected in 100 milliseconds: Appearance-based trait inferences and voting

Christopher Y. Olivola, Alexander Todorov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


Recent research has shown that rapid judgments about the personality traits of political candidates, based solely on their appearance, can predict their electoral success. This suggests that voters rely heavily on appearances when choosing which candidate to elect. Here we review this literature and examine the determinants of the relationship between appearance-based trait inferences and voting. We also reanalyze previous data to show that facial competence is a highly robust and specific predictor of political preferences. Finally, we introduce a computer model of face-based competence judgments, which we use to derive some of the facial features associated with these judgments.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)83-110
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


  • Face perception
  • First impressions
  • Political decision making
  • Social cognition
  • Voting


Dive into the research topics of 'Elected in 100 milliseconds: Appearance-based trait inferences and voting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this