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  1. 1. HAIR LOSS AND ELECTABILITY: THE BALD TRUTH Lee Sigelman Edwin Dawson M i c h a e l Nitz Marcia Lynn W h i c k e r ABSTRACT: This study probes one particular component of the weil documented linkage between personal appearance and impression formation by investigating the extent to which and the mechanisms through which bald and balding men are underrepresented in high elective office. Study 1 compares the prevalence of hair Ioss among governors and members of Congress, on the one hand, and the general public, on the other, and concludes that officeholders are much more likely to have a full head of hair than would be expected of men of their age. Study 2 poses an experimental test of voter bias against bald and balding candidates by presenting voters in a simulated congressional race with materials depicting otherwise identical candidates in either their natural bald or balding condition or wearing a professionally fitted hairpiece. No voter bias against bald or balding candidates is apparent, a finding that suggeststhat the causal mechanism underlying underrepresentation of bald and balding men is not voter bias. Ugly is a field without grass, a plant without leaves, or a head without hair (Ovid, quoted by Klenhard, 1986, p. 11). Politics represents an area of public life in which the effects of appearance may lead to very important social consequences and in which the idea of special privilege for the pretty is particularly repellent (Efran and Patterson, 1975, p. 352). Some people benefit while others suffer from the tendency to associate physical attractiveness with desirable personal qualities--the assumption that "what is beautiful is good" (Dion, Berscheid, & Walster, 1972; see also Adams, 1982; Chaiken, 1986). Two central principles of impression formation underlie this tendency: evaluations of others are based upon limThe authors thank Judee Burgoon, Michael Burgoon, and Carol Sigelman for useful comments and suggestions, and Brandt Baker, Henry Ewbank, Jeff Gardner, Henry Kenski, Dan Singer, and David Williams for their assistancewith this project. Requestsfor reprints should be addressed to the first author, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 14(4), Winter 1990 © 1990 Human Sciences Press, Inc. 269
  2. 2. 270 ]OURNAL OF NONVERBALBEHAVlOR ited information, and outward appearances shape first impressions (Burgoon, Buller, & Woodall, 1989, pp. 221-222). Students of e[ectoral behavior have [ong grasped the importance of candidate image as a determinant of vote choice (see, e.g., Abelson, Kinder, Peters, & Fiske, 1982; Nimmo & Savage, 1976), but the rise of television as a medium of political communication has undoubtedly enhanced the impact of a candidate's personal appearance. In the words of Nei[ Postman: Although the Constitution makes no mention of it, it would appear that fat people are now effectively excluded from running for high political office. Probably bald people as weil . . . . Indeed, we may have reached the point where cosmetics has replaced ideology as the field of expertise over which a politician must have competent control (1985, pp. 4). Some might dismiss Postman's fears as far-fetched, but his argument is actually consistent with much empirical research. For example, in a study of Canadian parliamentary races Efran and Patterson (1974) reported that better Iooking candidates carried an average of three times as many votes as their less attractive peers. Several other studies have used experimental methods to isolate the mechanisms by which physical attractiveness influences vote choice. Sigelman, Thomas, Sigelman, and Ribich (1986), for example, provided "voters" in an experimental setting with textual information about, and photographs of, six different candidates representing varying levels of physical attractiveness. The appeal of three male candidates increased as a function of their attractiveness, while for three women candidates the link between attractiveness and electability was less straightforward. In another experimental study, Rosenberg, Bohan, McCafferty, and Harris (1986) distributed campaign brochures that were identical except for the photo each contained of an ostensible congressional candidate. Some photos were chosen because their subject was unusually high in "congressional demeanor," others because their subject was unusually lacking in the same quality. In a simulated election, candidates who [ooked the part enjoyed significantly greater success than those who seemed miscast. In a subsequent study, Rosenberg (1990) engaged a professional makeup artist to refashion the images of the individuals pictured in campaign materials distributed to experimental subjects. Predictably, the "made over" candidates won a significantly larger share of the subjects' votes (see also Rosenberg & McCafferty, 1987, and Sigelman & Sigelman, 1987). So there is abundant evidence, based on both observational and experimental research, that candidates' personal appearance can enhance or
  3. 3. 271 SIGELMAN, DAWSON, NITZ, WHICKER detract from their appeal to voters. This is a good beginning, but it is only a beginning, for personal appearance has been treated as a global phenomenon, with little or no attempt made to identify particular physical features that play leading roles in impression formation. Fortunately, it is not all that difficult to imagine what one of the key physical features shaping the impression formation process might be. Hair Loss and Impression Formation Humans "exhibit an overwhelming preoccupation with our hair and-more sadly, in our later years--with the lack of it" (Cooper, 1981, pp. 7). Hirsuteness has Iong symbolized strength and masculinity (Cooper, 1981; K[enhard, 1986), as in the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, while balding has been viewed as a visible sign of deterioration--"a symbol of senility, a by-product of a general decline" (Guthrie, 1977, pp. 69). This age-old preoccupation with hair is ironic, since hair [oss is actua[ly associated with the over-production of male sex hormones. Perhaps for this reason a receding hairline appears to be among the panculturally recognized signals of dominance (Keating, Mazur, & Segal, 1981), though the explanation for this could lie in the age-grading of dominance systems rather than the traits ascribed to hair Ioss per se. But no matter whether it Iogically should be baldness, not hairiness, that signals male dominance and virility, in youth-oriented cultures going bald is, as Desmond Morris (1985) notes, "clearly something of a disaster, especially for males who appear in public." It is precisely for this reason that hair transplant clinics and toupee shops are growth industries (Klenhard, 1986, p. 23) and that "probably more people have been duped by 'hair-growing' elixirs than by any other ineffectual cosmetic" (Guthrie, 1977, p. 74). Despite the attention it has historically received and the negative connotations associated with it, until recently hair Ioss has been a "blind spot" (Cash, 1988a)--one is tempted to say a "bald spot'--in research on impression formation. Few pertinent studies have been undertaken (Franzoi, Anderson, & Frommelt, 1990; Hankins, McKinnie, & Bailey, 1979; Roll & Verinis, 1971 ), and most of the research that has been done either is methodologically suspect or speaks only indirectly, if that, to the questions that motivate the present study. By far best existing study, by virtually any standard, is that of Cash (1988a), who matched photos of nine bald or balding men to those of nine other men with no visible hair Ioss. Three groups of subjects--university students, staff members, and faculty members-viewed slides of all 18 models and rated each in terms of self-assertive-
  4. 4. 272 OURNAL OF NONVERBAL BEHAVIOR ness, social attractiveness, intelligence, life success, personal likability, physical attractiveness, and perceived age. The bald or balding models were perceived more negatively on every dimension except intelligence. Interestingly, hair Ioss did not affect perceptions of the younger models any more than those of the older models, nor did the sex or age of the raters have much effect on ratings of the models. Even more interestingly, when Cash controlled for the models' perceived physical attractiveness, he found that hair Ioss had no independent impact on perceived life success, likability, and the other evaluative dimensions. He therefore concluded that the key to understanding the role of hair Ioss in impression formation was its tendency to undermine perceived physical attractiveness. The present research, building on the foundation laid by Cash, probes the implications of baldness in a political context. The guiding idea of the study is that because visible hair Ioss detracts from a positive personal image, a bald or balding candidate should find himself at a significant electoral disadvantage--an idea that has gained wide acceptance as part of the conventional wisdom of "image politics" even though (or perhaps precisely because) it has never been subjected to serious empirical scrutiny. Klenhard (1986, p. 24), for example, contends that "President Reagan's campaign was certainly not hurt by possessing the full hairline of an eighteen-year old. Those that worried about his advanced years were reassured by his vigorous hairline." Our analysis of this idea follows two separate tracks: an observational study of hair Ioss among high-level officeholders in the United States, and an experimental study of the differential appeal of otherwise identical political candidates, some bald or balding and others with a full head of hair. Study 1 The purpose of Study 1 was to explore the association between hair Ioss and service in the "real world" of high elective office. The study was designed to examine the possibility that, since hair Ioss is supposed to constitute a political liability, high-level male officeholders would disproportionately be drawn from the segment of the male population with a full head of hair or with only a minimal degree of hair Ioss. Data and Method Norwood (1984), drawing on earlier work by Hamilton (1951), developed a typology of male pattern baldness that ranges from no visible hair
  5. 5. 273 SIGELMAN, DAWSON, NITZ, WHICKER Ioss (Type I) through progressively more severe degrees, culminating in the most extreme degree of hair Ioss (Type VII), where "all that remains is a narrow horseshoe-shaped band of hair that begins laterally just anterior to the ear and extends posteriorly on the sides and quite Iow on the occiput" (Norwood, 1984, p. 7). According to Norwood (1984, pp. 5-10), Types I and Il fall below the baldness threshold, with "significant cosmetic hair Ioss" beginning at Type III. The Type III pattern is the first to feature "deep frontotemporal recessions," i.e., a visibly receding hairline. "More advanced degrees of baldness" begin with Type V, in which only a narrow band on the crown separates the deeply receding frontal hairline from the large bald spot in the vertex. This seven-category classification scheme, combined with careful measurement of hair Ioss in men of various ages, permitted Norwood to derive what have become the standard age-specific norms for the incidence of male pattern baldness among white American males. Norwood's norms are much more conservative than Hamilton's previously accepted ones; at each point on the age scale Norwood's estimates of the incidence of significant or advanced hair Ioss fall at least 20 percentage points below Hamilton's. We used Norwood's typology to classify every "Anglo" male governor, U.S. Senator, and member of the U.S. House of Representatives as of 1988, taking as our source materials head-and-shoulders photographs published in The Almanac of American Politics (Barone & Ujifusa, 1988). Excluded from consideration, then, were women officeholders and males of black, Hispanic, American Indian, or Asian extraction--exclusions necessary to maintain consistency with Norwood's normative data. Working independently, two coders compared the 11/2 x 2 inch picture of each officeholder to the series of sketches accompanying Norwood's typology and then assigned the officeholder to one of Norwood's seven categories. Intercoder reliability proved highly acceptable for the 522 officeholders thus categorized. Even though differences between adjacent categories in Norwood's scheme are quite subtle and are offen based largely on hair Ioss patterns that are difficult to detect from a frontal view, the two coders assigned officeholders to exactly the same category on almost two out of every three occasions (337 of 522, or 64.6%) and disagreed by as much as two points on the seven-point scale only ten times (1.9%). The simple correlation between the two coders' classifications was .870, and scale reliability, as signified by Cronbach's alpha, was .928. Disagreements between the coders were resolved by randomly selecting the category assigned by one or the other when the two differed by a single point, and by using the mean of the ratings when they differed by two points.
  6. 6. 274 OURNAL OF NONVERBAL BEHAVlOR Results Of the 522 officeholders, 328 (62.8%) were classified as Type I or II-that is, as falling below the minimum baldness thresho[d--and the remaining 194 (37.2%) as Type III or higher--that is, as balding or bald. Using the more stringent criterion of "advanced'! baldness, only 31 officeholders (5.9%) were categorized as belonging to Type V, Vl, or VlI. Clearly, then, significant hair Ioss is the exception rather than the rule among high-level officeholders in the United States, and advanced hair Ioss is rare. The real question, though, is how high-level officeholders compare to the public at large in terms of hair Ioss. Any simple comparison of the relative frequency of hair Ioss among officeholders and in the population would immediate[y run afoul of two considerations: hair Ioss is associated with age (Norwood, 1985), and high-level officeholders do not constitute a representative cross-section of adult males with respect to age; for the 522 officeholders classified for this study, the correlation between age and score on the seven-point hair Ioss scale is .40 (p<.001). Since our interest lies in the impact of hair Ioss rather than that of age, we must hold age differences constant when comparing the incidence of hair Ioss in the general population and among high-level officeholders. These comparisons were guided by Norwood's data on the extent of hair Ioss among Anglo males in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. For example, according to Norwood 55% of Anglo males in their 40s fall into Type I or II, displaying no significant hair Ioss. If the 178 high-level officeholders in the 40-49 age range were randomly drawn from this age cohort, we would expect 98 (55%) of them to be in Type I or II. Similar calculations for each age group yielded the total number of high-level officeholders expected, based on their ages, to fall into Type I or II. Further analyses centered on whether the extent of advanced hair Ioss (Types V, Vl, and VII) differed between officeholders and the general public, again based on Norwood's age-normed data. The results are simple and dramatic. As noted above, 328 of the 522 officeholders (62.8%) were categorized as Type I or II and 194 (37.2%) as Type III through VII. However, based on Norwood's age norms only 249 of these officeholders (47.7%) would have been expected to display no significant hair Ioss, with 273 (52.3%) being expected to fall into Types III through VII. This difference between the observed and expected incidence of hair loss is easily statistically significant, X2(1, N = 522) = 48.0, p<.O01. The same is true of advanced hair Ioss. Norwood's age norms for advanced hair Ioss would lead one to exoect 118 of the 522 officeholders
  7. 7. 275 SIGELMAN, DAWSON, NITZ, WHICKER (22.6%) in Types V through VlI, but only 31 (5.9%) actually fell into these categories, X2(1, N = 522) = 82.9, p<.001, constituting an even more marked departure from expectations than pertained for the threshold degree of hair Ioss. Discussion The number of bald or balding governors and members of Congress falls significantly below what would be expected of a randomly selected group of Anglo men of the same ages. We should caution that Norwood's age norms are based on careful examination of the heads of actual people, whereas our data are based on posed frontal photographs. Since some officeholders may have successfully concealed their hair Ioss from the camera, it is possible that the photographs systematically understate the actual degree of baldness among the officeholders. If this is so, then the hair Ioss difference between officeholders and the general public would be less dramatic than our analysis suggests. Another possibility stems from the fact that elected officeholders come disproportionately from middle class and upper class backgrounds. If hair Ioss is related to health and dietary factors that are themselves linked to socioeconomic status, then Norwood's genera[ population norms may not constitute an appropriate benchmark for high-ranking politicians. While acknowledging this possibility, we should also indicate that we know of no evidence linking hair Ioss to socioeconomic status. We should also emphasize that, as noted above, Norwood's norms are quite conservative and, if anything, understate the prevalence of hair Ioss in the general public. So any bias introduced by our use of posed pictures of officeholders or by the inexact social fit between officeholders and the general population should be offset, at least in part, by the conservatism of Norwood's general population estimates. On the basis of the data considered in Study 1, we conclude that there is a bias against bald and ba[ding men in high-level elective office. But at this point we need to consider what we cannot conclude from Study 1. For one thing, Study 1 does not estab[ish that high-level elected officials are less likely to be bald or balding than those whom they defeated for office. Since Study 1 was based on photos of those who had won election to high public office rather than photos of all those who had sought high public office, we cannot say whether bald or balding candidates find themselves at an electoral disadvantage when pitted against candidates who have not experienced significant hair Ioss. On the other hand, many incumbents had been in office for a Iong time; some--conceivably many--of those who were bald or balding in 1988 may have had a full
  8. 8. 276 OURNAL OF NONVERBALBEHAVlOR head of hair when first elected. Of course, we have just seen that not many officeholders were bald or balding even several years after their initial election, but it is still clear that the simple 1988 snapshot presented in Study 1 fails to incorporate the time dimension. Not does Study 1 consider other mechanisms that could account for the observed pattern. The weeding out of bald and balding aspirants for high office could occur before the candidates get on the ballot. For example, it could be that many potential candidates who do not conform to conventional norms of attractive, vigorous male appearance perceive poor prospects for electoral success and thus do not pursue opportunities to run for office. Or perhaps bald or balding men have a hard time securing a place on the ballot because it is difficult for them to convince potential backers or party officials that their candidacy would evoke broad voter appeal. In sum, Study 1 establishes that bald and balding men are disproportionately screened out of high public office in the United States, but leaves unanswered the question of how this screening process works. Do voters, faced with a choice between a bald or balding candidate and one with a full head of hair, tend to favor the latter? That would be the most direct connection between hair Ioss and electability, and it is the possibility investigated in Study 2. Study 2 Study 2 takes up where Study 1 leaves oft, at a consideration of the means by which bald and balding men come to be underrepresented in high elective office. In an attempt to determine whether such underrepresentation is attributable to voter bias, Study 2 poses an experimental test of voter responses to congressional candidates with visible hair Ioss. Method Participants. The participants in Study 2 were 550 adults in a large southwestern city who had been summoned to the county courthouse for jury duty. After being initially processed in a large room and while awaiting assignment to a jury panel, prospective jurors were invited by two researchers to participate in a research project; access to the jury pool was granted by court authorities. Those who agreed to participate comprised a diverse cross-section of the community, as would be expected of a jury pool. It was not feasible to record refusals to participate, but they were
  9. 9. 277 SIGELMAN, DAWSON, NITZ, WHICKER rare--certainly less than one in ten. The county draws prospective jurors from a list of licensed drivers, assuring broad representativeness. The participants' mean age was 43, with a standard deviation of 14 years; 53% were men, 47% women. Materials. Each participant received a packet of materials containing a three-sentence introduction to the project, a campaign brochure, and a questionnaire. The introduction stated that the study was being conducted by researchers from the state university who were "interested in the ways political candidates present themselves to the public." Participants were asked to take a few minutes familiarizing themselves with the brochure and then to answer all the questions on the attached questionnaire. A two-color trifold campaign brochure, printed on heavy stock and patterned after actual campaign materials, was given to every participant. The front of the brochure was headlined "JORDAN for Congress," with a 3 x 5 inch black and white head-and-shoulders picture of a formally attired white male named "Allen Jordan," beneath which were printed the words ùFighting with Integrity." The inside of the brochure listed Jordan's primary concerns as quality education, the special needs of the homeless, maintenance of the state's natural resources, and health care for the elderly, and went on to describe him as committed to developing Iong-term solutions and enforcing tough penalties for drunk drivers, supporting strong anti-drug measures, and opposing tax increases. The inside of the brochure also presented endorsements from "Paul Kerns" (billed as an environmentalist, neighborhood activist, and Iocal businessman) and "Virginia Engel" (ostensibly the head of the state's Center for Public Interest), who were quoted praising Jordan for his issue stands and leadership skills. Finally, the inside of the brochure outlined Jordan's personal background and accomplishments, describing him as a father of two children, a graduate of the state university, a military veteran, a business leader and volunteer, and a member of the state economic development board, the Andover Church Council, the county historical society, the March of Dimes, the state's Academy, and the Optimists Club, and identifying hirn with "lntegrity, Vision and Sound American Principles." The back of the brochure urged readers to ùVote for the Qualified Candidate," indicated that the brochure was sponsored by the "Jordan for Congress Committee," and displayed a pseudobulk mailing permit. Each participant received a brochure that was identical except for the picture on the front. Six different white males played the role of Allen Jordan in these photos. Each of these individuals had experienced substantial hair Ioss; using Norwood's typology, we classified two as Type IIl's,
  10. 10. 278 OURNAL OF NONVERBALBEHAVlOR TABLE 1 Mean Perceptions and Evaluations of Allen Jordan, by Model and Hair Model Bald Age Attractiveness Masculinity Pleasantness Dynamism Vote 26-vl Bald Full 47.0 41.6 9.4 9.4 5.9 5.4 10.7 10.1 33.8 32.6 .48 .42 31-111 Bald Full 39.4 36.1 8.4 8.4 5.0 4.7 10.7 11.3 32.0 32.0 .38 .39 47-111 Bald Full 51.9 48.1 8.6 9.7 5.4 5.6 11.0 11.1 33.0 34.2 .43 .43 50-1V Bald Full 55.6 51.6 9.8 9.3 6.0 5.3 10.6 9.5 33.9 33.3 .47 .39 60-Vll Bald Full 60.7 54.0 8.7 10.2 5.8 5.5 10.8 11.6 32.3 36.7 .45 .55 66-Vll Bald Full 60.9 57.9 8.7 10.0 5.7 5.8 10.4 10.9 35.0 34.4 .50 .44 one as a Type IV, one as a Type Vl, and two as Type Vll's. The six models ranged in aged from 26 years to 66 (see Table 1 for a description of the age and baldness type of each model). Each model posed for photographs in a Iocal hair studio where he was then professionally fitted with a hairpiece deemed appropriate for a man of his age and appearance. With hairpiece in place, each was classifiable as a Norwood Type I or II, a major departure from his normal appearance. Each model then posed for a new round of photographs, this time wearing the hairpiece. The "before" photos were identical to the "after" photos in size, clothing, and background, and were carefully matched in terms of facial orientation and expression. Overall, then, twelve different brochures depicted six models with and without a hairpiece. Each participant was given a single one of these brochures. The questionnaire began with a set of 13 bipolar adjective items on a 1-9 scale designed to tap reactions to Allen Jordan's personality and physical appearance: competent-incompetent; weak-strong; friendly-unfriendly; homely-good-looking; masculine-not masculine; unintelligent-intelligent; has leadership ability-does not have leadership ability; cold-warm; physically unattractive-physically attractive; bold-timid; not feminine-feminine; forceful-not forceful; and unkind-kind. These were followed by a request to "indicate how likely you would be to vote for Allen Jordan if you were
  11. 11. 279 SIGELMAN, DAWSON, NITZ, WHICKER voting in the election in which he was running" by circling the number "that best reflects the probability that you would vote for this candidate" on a scale with ten-point intervals ranging from 5 to 95. Participants were then asked to estimate Allen Jordan's age and to answer a few demographic questions. Measures. Responses to certain sets of the bipolar adjective items were used to create additive scales of Allen Jordan's perceived dynamism, pleasantness, and physical attractiveness. Based on a factor analysis of all these items, six items (competent-incompetent, weak-strong, unintelligent-intelligent, has leadership ability-does not have leadership ability, bold-timid, and forceful-not forceful) were used to form the dynamism scale; two items (cold-warm and unkind-kind) were combined for the pleasantness scale; and two other items (homely-good-looking and physically unattractivephysically attractive) were combined for the physical attractiveness scale. The friendly-unfriendly item did not Ioad highly on any dimension, and was not used as a component of these scales. Nor did the masculine-not masculine and not feminine-feminine ratings prove to be strongly corre[ated, so the former was used as the measure of perceived masculinity. The reliability of the three multiple-item scales was deemed acceptable, with Cronbach's alpha values of .71, .71, and .70, respectively. Design. The design of the study was a 6 x 2 factorial, with the factors being the identity of the model and the presence or absence of a hairpiece camouflaging the model's hair Ioss. The Model factor was considered a random effect, since interest centered not on the six models themselves but rather on the broader population of men with various degrees of hair Ioss they were chosen to represent. The criterion variables were the candidate's perceived age, physical attractiveness, masculinity, pleasantness, and dynamism, and participants' estimates of the probability that they would vote for him. Analyses were also conducted with participants' age and sex introduced as covariates; since these had no effect, the more complex analyses are not reported below. Results As would be expected on the basis of the actual ages of the six models, participants perceived the candidate's age as differing significantly on the basis of the age of the model they saw (see Table 1). Age estimates ranged from a mean of 36.1 years for the 31-year-old model (who had the fullest hair) to a mean of 60.9 for the oldest (who was fully bald). More
  12. 12. 280 OURNAL OF NONVERBAL Bt~HAVlOR importantly, donning a hairpiece Iowered the perceived age of each model by at least three years, and Iopped five or six years oft the perceived age of two models--effects of a similar magnitude to those reported by Cash (1988a). As a consequence, the Hair factor, like the Model factor, had a highly significant effect on Allen Jordan's perceived age, F(5, 526) = 161.8, p<.001 for the Model factor, and F(1, 5) = 60.0, io<.001 for the Hair factor). The effect sizes, signified by the partial eta-squared coefficient, were .606 and .923, respectively. This means, for example, that controlling for the effect of Model, wearing a hairpiece or not accounted for more than 90% of the remaining variance in perceptions of Allen Jordan's age. According to Tukey's follow-up test for Honestly Significant Differences, there was a statistically significant difference between the perceived ages of each pair of models except the two oldest (10<.05). On the physical attractiveness scale, which ran from 2 to 18 with a mean of 9.2, there were no statistically significant differences based on either the identity of the six models or their use of a hairpiece. So while the perceived age of Allen Jordan varied as a function of being bald or balding, on the one hand, or having a full head of hair, on the other, his perceived physical attractiveness did not. Nor did his perceived personality traits. Participants did perceive significant differences in masculinity among the six models. For Model, F(5, 533) = 3.51, 10<.01, with a partial etasquared of only .032; according to Tukey's follow-up test, the significant difference stemmed from the unusually Iow masculinity scores assigned to the 31-year-old model, who was also considered the least attractive of the six. However, Allen Jordan was considered neither more nor less masculine with a hairpiece than without. On the pleasantness and dynamism scales no significant differences were associated with either the Model or the Hair factor, leading us to conclude that the candidate's perceived personality traits did not suffer as a consequence of hair Ioss. This brings us to the vote results. Across the six Model conditions and the two Hair conditions, the mean estimated probability of voting for Allen Jordan was .44, with a standard deviation of .24. On average, then, participants (who were told nothing about the characteristics or quality of Jordan's opposition) pegged the odds that they would vote for Jordan at somewhat below 50-50, but there was considerable variability in their estimates. However, neither the identity of the model nor the Hair manipulation had any significant effect on voting for Jordan. In sum, when participants examined a campaign brochure in which the candidate was shown wearing a hairpiece, they perceived hirn as being younger than when he was shown in his natural bald or balding state. However, they did not perceive him as being more attractive, more mas-
  13. 13. 281 SIGELMAN, DAWSON, NITZ, WHICKER culine, more pleasant, or more dynamic, nor were their estimates of the probability that they would vote for hirn affected. This lack of significant effects differs sharply from what Cash (1988a) observed in his study of the link between hair Ioss and impression formation, perhaps reflecting differences in the stimuli given to participants. For one thing, Cash's participants responded solely to pictures, with no textual information about the men in the photographs. For another, Cash did not show pictures of the same men with and without hair; rather, he showed pictures of one group of bald or balding men and another group of men with a full head of hair. Uncontrolled differences between the two groups of men could account for the effects he observed. Discussion How can we account for the absence of any significant link between hair Ioss and electability in the case of Allen Jordan? We have just seen that when the campaign brochure showed the candidate with a full head of hair, "voters" perceived him as significantly younger but not as more physically attractive, more masculine, pleasant, or dynamic. To this we can add, based on multiple regression analyses not reported hefe, that the primary factors shaping support for Jordan's candidacy were his perceived pleasantness and dynamism. Thus, the perceptions of Jordan that were affected by hair Ioss--perceptions of his age--had little or no bearing on his appeal as a candidate, while the qualities that enhanced his popularity with "voters"--his pleasantness and dynamism--were unaffected by his hair Ioss. The candidate's hair or lack thereof did influence the way he was seen by the participants in the experiment, but not in ways that turned out to be politically consequential. Another set of regression analyses turned up no significant effects of hair Ioss on a candidate's perceived masculinity, pleasantness, dynamism, or electability when the effects of perceived physical attractiveness were held constant. Accordingly, the lack of impact of hair Ioss cannot be attributed to the confounding effects of physical attractiveness. Conclusion We are left with an intriguing juxtaposition of findings. According to Study 1, considerably fewer bald and balding men have attained high elective office than would be expected on the basis of their share of the population. However, Study 2 indicates that even though visible hair Ioss does have
  14. 14. 282 JOURNAL OF NONVERBAL BEHAVlOR some significant impacts on impressions of political candidates, it does not significantly at~ct ihe politically pivotal impressions candidates make-impressions of ho~~pleasant and dynamic they are--and it does not influence the overall support they receive. In sum, our experimental findings suggest that it is not voter bias that accounts for the underrepresentation of bald and balding men in the tanks of high-level officeholders. If the bias against bald and balding high public officials does not reflect discrimination on the part of voters, it must stem from other factors. It could, as we speculated earlier, lie in the self-concepts of potential candidates themselves. To the extent that hair Ioss diminishes one's sense of attractiveness, self-worth, and personal efficacy (see, e.g., Cash, 1988b), we would expect bald and balding men to be less aggressive about putting themselves forward as candidates. And irrespective of whether voters really are biased against bald or balding candidates, if potential candidates, party prof~sionals, donors, and others involved in recruiting and nominating candidates believè- that a receding hairline makes a candidate a less effective vote-getter, then those with visible hair Ioss would presumably have a harder time winning their party's nomination. The research reported here does not permit us to determine whether one or the other of these mechanisms, or perhaps both, may be at work. But by demonstrating that voters do not discriminate against candidates who are bald or balding, it does suggest that the link between hair Ioss and electability may weil lie in stereotypes of baldness held by power brokers and/or by bald and balding men themselves. References Abelson, R. P., Kinder, D. R., Peters, M. D., & Fiske, S. T. (1982). Affective and semantic components in political person perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 619-630. Adams, G. R. (1982). Physical attractiveness. In A. G. Miller (Ed.), In the eye of the beholder: Contemporary issues in stereotyping. New York: Praeger. Barone, M., & Ujifusa, G. (1988). The alrnanac of Arnerican politics 1988. Washington, DC: National Journal. Burgoon, J. K., Buller, D. B., & Woodall, W. G. (1989). Nonverbal cornrnunication: The unspoken dialogue. New York: Harper & Row. Cash, T. F. (1988a). The effects of male pattern baldness on social impression formation. Unpublished manuscript. Cash, T. F. (1988b). The psychosocial effects of male pattem balding: Does Iosing it mean 'losing it'? Hair LossJournal, 4, 3-4. Chaiken, S. (1986). Physical appearance and social influence. In Herrnan, C. P., Zanna, M. P., & Higgins, E. T. (Eds.), Physical appearance, stigrna, and social behavior: The Ontario syrnnposium, Volume 3. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Cooper, W. (1981). Haft: Sex, society, syrnnbolisrn. New York: Stein and Day.
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