Thursday, March 5, 2009

Did Palin's looks hurt?

Politico blogger Ben Smith wrote today of a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. The research discusses how Sarah Palin's looks and the focus on them hurt her and John McCain.

The sample consisted of Republicans and independent voters. Participants were asked to rate former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and celebrity actress Angelina Jolie on various factors including competence.

"The study suggests that their confidence in her abilities may have decreased the more they focused on her looks – and thus, in feminist terms, objectified her."

I think this research paper affirms that sexism did play a role in the 2008 presidential election.

Americans, especially the male population, view Angelina Jolie as one of the most "attractive" female celebrities. Americans also tend to believe that celebrites are not the most "intelligent" people.

This study confirms that Palin was considered a political "celebrity." Because of this status and Palin's physical appearance, her intelligence was questioned by the American people. I still stand by my statement that she energized the Republican Party and gave McCain a fighting chance of victory.

The full research paper can be found here. (Note: It is not free)

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