You may have learned that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, but according to a study, when it comes to politics, the outside shell is important too, depending on your political party. Research from Sweden has found that right-leaning politicians are in general more physically attractive than liberal candidates; they also may be better rewarded for their looks than lefties. 

The research, conducted by Jan-Erik Lönnqvist from the University of Helsinki in Sweden, found that in Australia, the European Union, Finland, and the United States, right-leaning politicians are generally more attractive than left-leaning politicians, according to the opinions of research assisants who were judging photographs. According to Lönnqvist, this suggests the effects of physical attraction could be twice as large for politicians on the right when compared to those on the left. 

Read: Being Good-Looking Leads To Better Pay? The ‘Beauty Premium’ Debunked And Other Surprises About Attractiveness

“One possible reason for the greater influence of looks on Right-wing constituents could be that they are less informed. Previous research has also shown that conservative voters have a more concrete, perhaps less sophisticated way of thinking,” Lönnqvist said in a statement.

On the other hand, in the world of academia, left-leaning scholars are generally regarded as more attractive than their right-leaning counterparts, although right-leaning scholars are generally regarded as being better groomed, the study says. According to Lönnqvist, this suggests that physical attraction is more important in politics than in the world of academia.

"The fact that left-leaning scholars are perceived as better-looking is no cause for alarm," Lönnqvist said. "What is worrying, however, is the high degree of importance attached to looks in political elections."

This could have side effects, as research has shown that beautiful people can be more persuasive and can use their sex appeal to command attention and, more importantly, get what they want, Business Insider reported. In fact, one study found that a better individual beauty score was associated with a 20 percent increase in the number of votes for a political candidate. What’s more, attraction was more influential than perceived competence and trustworthiness, the study found.

Beauty may also be advantageous in politics as research has shown that simply being more attractive makes people more likely to regard you as likeable and trustworthy.

In general, being better looking makes people automatically attribute other favorable traits to you — such as being more healthy and intelligent— regardless of whether or not you actually possess these traits, Business Insider reported. 

Source: Lönnqvist JE. Just because you look good, doesn't mean you're right. Personality and Individual Differences . 2017

See Also:

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You Do Have A More Attractive Side: Left Side Seen As More Expressive, According To Science