As the candidate pool for the 2020 U.S. presidential election gets increasingly crowded, one researcher may have some helpful advice for contenders. A ground-breaking study released in Japan this week concludes that political candidates who smile more get more votes.
Masahiko Asano, a professor at Takushoku University in Tokyo, used facial-recognition technology to analyze the campaign posters of 6,000 Japanese electoral candidates to assign them a smile-rating, according to the Japan Times.
He then cross-referenced the rating with the results of six Japanese elections between 1980 and 2017 to determine if a politician’s smile affected the candidate’s success rate.
“In the situation that many candidates from various political parties are running, it’s very likely that how they look influences voting decisions,” Asano said, according to the Times.