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Title: An investigation of the halo effect in the context of the American presidential election
Authors: Goh, Raphael Yu Le
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Abstract: “Political parties should refrain from inappropriate use of young children who will not fully understand what they may be promoting or subjecting themselves to.” This was a quote from the People’s Action Party (PAP), accusing opposition party Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) of inappropriately using children to promote their party. Using children to boost popularity is a strategy that has been used by politicians all around the world. However, it is unclear whether such a strategy is actually effective in garnering support. The halo effect of children resulting from the phenomenon of baby schema is a possible mechanism behind this age-old strategy. Baby schema is a phenomenon where individuals tend to process the faces of babies or young children via an autonomic route, bypassing any biases, prejudices or past experiences that might exist. Study 1 aims to study the effect of baby schema on trust and aesthetic ratings of faces. Study 2 studies the frequency of politicians appearing in photographs with babies or young children. The results of study 1 supports the hypothesis of the halo effect. However, study 2 showed that not every political party apply this strategy of taking photographs with babies to boost its popularity. Study 2 also showed that taking photographs with babies does not significantly increase one’s popularity among voters. Findings of this study can be a steppingstone to further studies to have a deeper understanding of the different factors behind a voter’s decision-making process and how it will affect an election.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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