Philosophy hypothesis assignment

Essay by rsyed5High School, 11th gradeC, August 2014

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Hypothesis Assignment

Ramla Syed

Yr 11

A media article published in the New Zealand Herald was chosen for this task. The article is named 'Research shows voters shy away from baby faced politicians'. The original article by Todorov et al is named 'Inferences of Competence from Faces Predict Election Outcomes'

The question being asked by the investigator is do people judge other's traits and personality based on their facial appearance? The hypothesis proposed is if people/voters were asked to determine political candidates based on competence, their predictions would be influenced by their evaluation of how the person looks. This hypothesis is falsifiable and consistent as it can be tested, and can be proven wrong, a person could look really attractive compared to the another candidate and still lose, vice versa a person could be really unattractive and still win, a study could be done where no pictures are shown only information is given and the participants are asked to predict the winner, the results could be compared with the original report, this hypothesis is acceptable and can be understood by the general audience.

An alternative hypothesis from the original report is people are making circular inferences of likeability rather than specific inferences of competence

The experimental design used was: 800 students were shown pairs of photographs of real candidates for congress on average for one second, the students were then asked to choose the candidate they thought would win or had won. After determining competency as the most important trait to look for, students were asked to make a judgement between two candidates from the senate and house, based on competency. The students had predicted the candidates correctly approximately 69% of the time, students choose the winner correctly based on competency approximately 72% of the senate and 67% of house...