Friday, October 9, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3335: The Presidential Race, Electability, Facial Hair and Ben Carson (PHOTOS)

The fact that Ben Carson has facial hair places him at a steep disadvantage for winning the Republican nomination or the White House. Although some may call it purely statistical - the correlation of the presence of facial hair to a lower electability is not to be ignored.

Moreover, the higher the political office, the less likely it is that a man will win the seat if he has facial hair. The incidence of facial hair World-wide is 50%. In the United States, Europe, Canada and Pacific Rim Countries it's 33% (with some regional variability).

Incredibly, the last U.S. President to be elected with any facial hair was William Taft in 1908 - 107 years ago.

Of the male U.S. Senators, house members and governors, typically only between 1 and 11% of them will have facial hair. Within this population - the Senators have the least - and the House Members are closure to 11% with the male governors intermediate. This is even true with city council and school board elections - although the phenomenon is not as strong when the political office is lower on the food chain.

There's something hard-wired into the human brain (a fact every neurosurgeon should know) when it comes to facial hair, likability and trust. Human children (who are preverbal) will strongly prefer men without facial hair. This is true even when viewing both images of their own fathers (despite having become accustomed to them with facial hair).

Although there is, of course, a waxing and waning of facial hair styles/trends throughout the decades - as well as some occupational exceptions to this rule (e.g. college professors, baseball pitchers and many other athletes' roles [but not all, e.g. - golf]) - this correlation of low trust with facial hair is dramatic and should not be ignored. Arrest photos of men have a significantly higher incidence of facial hair - and in the courtroom there is notably higher rate of guilty verdicts.

Dr. Carson - if you want to win, shave. Shave now.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3334: Kevin McCarthy, Judy McCarthy and the Representative's Decision to Withdraw from Pursuing the Position as Speaker of the House

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3332: Ben Carson's New Book Cover is a Rapport Destroyer

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3283: Trivago Guy - It's Not His Wardrobe or Haircut - It's the Body Language Stupid!

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3275: Carly Fiorina, The Republican Debate and Likability (or not)

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3207: Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3241: Trump - a Hyper-Alpha Donald vs. a Kinder, Gentler Version - Body Language and Likability 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3264: Hillary Clinton, Likability, Perceived Trustworthiness and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2930: Rand Paul and "Likability" - Building vs. Destroying It