Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Committee Chair

Eric W Groenendyk

Committee Member

Heather Larsen-Price

Committee Member

David Houston


By examining whether or not perceptions of facial features relate to perceptions of character traits in political candidates, this paper attempts to explore the implications of what voters look for when examining candidates based solely on appearance. Respondentsare thought tobe looking to put their trust in a representative to represent them fairly and wisely, the "trustee" representative, results are expected toshow respondents look for universal features that are perceived to be connected to perceptions of trustworthiness, honesty, leadership and competency. Respondents will be looking to delegate their political responsibilities to a representative that they assume to have similar interests, the "delegate" representative, if respondents are found to look for facial similarity between themselves and the candidates they rate higher in trustworthiness, honesty, leadership and competency. Results show consistently significant relationships with different features associated with youth resulting in higher trustworthiness and honesty ratings.Results also shows significant results relating pointier facial structure to lower honesty and trustworthiness ratings.Preliminary results warrant further exploration of theserelationships with a morerefined method and more precise measures, which will be accomplishedin future work.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.