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The role of face and voice cues in predicting the outcome of student representative elections

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Publication details

JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Jul 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 13 Aug 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Apr 2020
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)617-625
Early online date13/08/19
Original languageEnglish


First impressions formed after seeing someone’s face or hearing their voice can affect many social decisions, including voting in political elections. Despite the many studies investigating the independent contribution of face and voice cues to electoral success, their integration is still not well understood. Here, we examine a novel electoral context, student representative ballots, allowing us to test the generalisability of previous studies. We also examine the independent contributions of visual, auditory and audiovisual information to social judgements of the candidates, and their relationship to election outcomes. Results showed that perceived trustworthiness was the only trait significantly related to election success. These findings contrast with previous reports on the importance of perceived competence using audio or visual cues only in the context of national political elections. The present study highlights the role of real-world context and emphasises the importance of using ecologically valid stimulus presentation in understanding real-life social judgement.

Bibliographical note

© 2019 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc Article reuse guidelines:

    Research areas

  • first impressions, audiovisual integration, faces, voices, elections

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