AI Study Shows Conservative Politicians Are More Attractive, Happier Than Liberals

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It has been long purported that conservatives are more attractive than liberals, and a recent Danish study of artificial intelligence has confirmed it.

The study – “using deep learning to predict ideology from facial photographs: expressions, beauty, and extra‑facial information” – looked at 4,637 political candidates who ran in the 2017 Danish municipal election. The photos were cropped to only show the politicians’ faces and grayscaled before being submitted to Microsoft Azure’s Face API — a facial-recognition service that “provides AI algorithms that detect, recognize, and analyze human faces in images.”

The findings of the study declare conservative female politicians more attractive than their liberal counterparts. Furthermore, they found right-wing politicians generally happier than left-wing ones and left-wing female politicians more likely to have faces showing contempt.

Interestingly enough, male characteristics such as upper body strength appear to be associated with conservative economic preferences.

These results are credible given previous research using human raters which also highlighted a link between attractiveness and conservatism.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Public Economics also found that right-wing politicians in Europe, Australia and the United States were more attractive than their liberal counterparts.

It should be noted that all candidates are incentivized to provide an attractive photograph because attractiveness generally helps electoral success.

The trained neural network using AI scored a 61% accuracy rate in predicting political ideology based solely on facial photographs.

“Model-predicted ideology correlated with aspects of both facial expressions (happiness vs neutrality) and morphology (specifically, attractiveness in females),” the study said. “Heat maps highlighted the informativeness of areas both on and off the face, pointing to methodological refinements and the need for future research to better understand the significance of certain facial areas.”

The photos were then submitted to Microsoft Azure’s Face API — a facial-recognition service that “provides AI algorithms that detect, recognize, and analyze human faces in images.”

The analysis determined that right-wing Danish politicians were more likely to appear happy when compared to their left-wing counterparts.

“We also found that expressing happiness is associated with conservatism for both genders,” the study read.

“Politicians on the left and right may have different incentives for smiling — for example, smiling faces have been found to look more attractive, which is comparatively important for conservative politicians,” the authors said.

Overall it seems clear that the research supports the notion conservatives are indeed better looking than liberals politically speaking across multiple countries.

While some may argue this is merely circumstantial evidence pointing towards certain advantages for conservative candidates during elections due to greater public appeal over their good looks it does raise interesting questions about why exactly this is so?




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