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Facial Trait, Personality and Election Outcome Predition

Automated facial trait judgment and election outcome prediction:
Social dimensions of face

Jungseock Joo, Francis F. Steen, and Song-Chun Zhu

IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2015. [pdf]


The human face is a primary medium of human communication and a prominent source of information used to infer various attributes. In this paper, we study a fully automated system that can infer the perceived traits of a person from his face – social dimensions, such as “intelligence,” “honesty,” and “competence” – and how those traits can be used to predict the outcomes of real-world social events that involve long-term commitments, such as political elections, job hires, and marriage engagements. To this end, we propose a hierarchical model for enduring traits inferred from faces, incorporating high-level perceptions and intermediate-level attributes. We show that our trained model can successfully classify the outcomes of two important political events, only using the photographs of politicians’ faces. Firstly, it classifies the winners of a series of recent U.S. elections with the accuracy of 67.9% (Governors) and 65.5% (Senators). We also reveal that the different political offices require different types of preferred traits. Secondly, our model can categorize the political party affiliations of politicians, i.e., Democrats vs. Republicans, with the accuracy of 62.6% (male) and 60.1% (female). To the best of our knowledge, our paper is the first to use automated visual trait analysis to predict the outcomes of real-world social events. This approach is more scalable and objective than the prior behavioral studies, and opens for a range of new applications.

Correlations between facial traits and real world outcomes

  • Election
  • Political party affiliation


Contact Jungseock Joo for access.