Facial cues can have context-contingent effects on leadership judgments, with dominant-looking individuals judged as better leaders in wartime than peacetime contexts and trustworthy-looking individuals judged as better leaders in peacetime than wartime contexts. Such results may not necessarily generalize to samples including diverse ages, however. To explore this issue, older (40 to 70 years) and younger (18 to 30 years) participants rated male and female faces (18 to 70 years) for dominance, trustworthiness, attractiveness, and effectiveness as leader of a country during wartime or peacetime. Older and younger participantsí ratings were highly correlated. Principal component analysis of potential leadersí characteristics that predicted leadership judgments in prior research produced three components, reflecting general positive regard, dominance, and height, respectively. Scores on the positive regard component were positively and significantly correlated with leadership ratings in the peacetime, but not wartime, context. By contrast, scores on the height and dominance components were positively and significantly correlated with leadership ratings in the wartime, but not peacetime, context. Together, these results present further evidence for context-contingent effects of facial cues on hypothetical leadership judgments and suggest previous results generalize to samples including diverse ages.
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