People prefer a healthy-looking leader to an intelligent-looking one.

Health was an influential cue across all scenarios, while intelligence only had an effect in half of the presented scenarios. “

Well, at least intelligence wasn’t a negative predictor (The study was done in the Netherlands; I wonder how the same experiment might turn out in the US).

And yes, apparently there is a way to manipulate “intelligent-looking.”

“[H]igh and low apparent intelligence prototypes were created as described in Moore et al. (2011). Briefly, these prototypes were created by regressing ratings of attractiveness, masculinity, health, and perceived age against ratings of perceived intelligence. The faces with the largest positive and negative residuals (i.e., those who were rated as looking much more or less intelligent than predicted by their age, attractiveness, masculinity, and health) were “averaged” using Psychomorph software to create composite high and low perceived intelligence faces…”

Faces manipulated for apparent intelligence and health

Also, if you can figure out a way to make yourself look taller, that helps too.

Frontiers | A face for all seasons: Searching for context-specific leadership traits and discovering a general preference for perceived health | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

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