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Power, Persuasion, and Attractiveness - Dilbert Blog

Power, Persuasion, and Attractiveness

I created two surveys on Twitter to see which candidate for president of the United States has the most attractive supporters. My Twitter followers are mostly pro-Trump, and male, so I expected the biased result you see below. That didn’t make it any less funny.

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These two surveys are statistically meaningless, but I’m willing to bet that a scientific poll of this type would show the same order of results, with Trump at the top. That doesn’t mean Trump supporters are actually more attractive. It just means you have been persuaded to think so, probably by a variety of factors. Here’s a little thought experiment to test this idea:

Imagine a male Trump supporter. He’s wearing a red Trump hat and he’s being interviewed on camera by a reporter. Now hold whatever image you have in your head for that person. All you know is that he is male, a Trump supporter, and he is wearing a Trump hat. Hold that thought.

Now imagine a male Clinton supporter. He isn’t wearing a Trump hat, so fill in that person’s clothing in your mind. All you know is that he supports Clinton. He too is being interviewed by a reporter.

Now imagine your Trump supporter and your Clinton supporter standing next to each other. Get a good picture of the two of them in your mind. Now here’s my question: If those two men were to get into a fight, who would win?

Most of you said the Trump supporter would win. That’s because you are reading this blog, and a lot of Trump supporters come here. But my educated guess is that persuasion is also at work. Trump’s language and imagery is all “big and beautiful and great.” His buildings are big and powerful. Trump is a big guy in a power suit wearing powerful clothing. He projects power, intentionally.

Clinton is more about fighting for the weaker members of society. Even her logo looks like a sign pointing to a hospital.

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Attractiveness and power are correlated in our minds. Trump is creating a brand around power while Clinton’s brand is more about helping the disadvantaged of society. My best guess, as a trained persuader, is that each candidate’s branding leaks into your biased opinion of what the supporters of each candidate actually look like.

Just to be clear, I doubt there is any real difference in the attractiveness of voters who support various candidates. My point is that people have been persuaded to think there is a difference.

On a different note, watch an untrained persuader flip Clinton supporters to Trump supporters in less than sixty seconds. I have tried this same method of persuasion in the past, also on the topic of politics, and had the same rapid results.

A few months ago I offered in this blog to flip a Clinton supporter to a Trump supporter on video in less than an hour. The truth is that ten minutes would be more than enough. I only said an hour so it sounded more credible.

If you think Bernie Sanders’ supporters smoke a lot of weed, you should see my book because it has nothing to do with any of that.