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About face: Facial prominence of George W. Bush in political cartoons as a function of war.

By Rachel M. Calogero and Brian Mullen


Facial prominence, defined as the relative proportion of a visual depiction of a person devoted to portrayal of the head vs. the rest of the body, has been interpreted as an indicator of power or dominance. An archival study examined the facial prominence of a single political target, George W. Bush, in political cartoons as a function of involvement in war. For two different wars, results revealed lower facial prominence in the portrayal of the target after the onset of war. These results were not a function of the topic of the cartoon and could not be explained by intentional efforts to derogate the target. The portrayal of a political leader as less powerful and less dominant after involvement in war is inconsistent with predictions for facial prominence effects. The implications of these paradoxical results for the study of facial prominence in media portrayals of political leaders are considered

Topics: BF
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2007.12.007
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