In this week’s editorial, Bob Layton examines the issue of optics. Timothy C. Brock and Melanie C. Green (Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2005) 143–69 (156) (citing Efran and Patterson, 1976). Although Davis was not responsible for the emergence of either crisis, he was perceived as having mishandled them and paid the ultimate political price. [16] Hehman et al., “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents,” 50 (citing Katz et al., 1977). The halo effect is a perceptual bias[2] where people link good looking with good. In as little as a tenth of a second, voters form opinions of the candidates based on a candidate’s facial expression. Are Optics And Politics Steering State Farm Bills? Political optics, as they say, is not about right or wrong -- it’s more about the “image” and “symbolism” that you showcase. [10]  Of particular relevance to political campaigns, attractive people are believed to have superior leadership skills[11] and enhanced social skills. 2 North American usually treated as singular (typically in a political context) the way in which an event or course of action is perceived by the public. 126, No. When an account of the birthday party was published later, Newsom belatedly recognized that it pictured him a hypocrite and issued profuse public apologies. [8] Schneider, Frank W., Jamie A. Gruman, and Larry M. Coutts. However, new problems emerged. (used with a plural verb) the way a situation, action, event, etc., is perceived by the public or by a particular group of people: The optics on this issue are pretty good for the Democrats. [12], The caveat to all of this research, however, is that despite the tendency to presume good things about good-looking people, in reality, it has been demonstrated that halo-effect inspired stereotypical beliefs are not accurate in any area. In real life politics, as opposed to the textbook variety, hard fact is much less important than image or, as political pros put it, “optics.”. [5]  Research reveals that in some cases, we view attractive individuals as kind, intelligent, talented, and—of great significance in political elections—honest. Just last week, it was revealed that inmates in state prisons and local jails had fraudulently and successfully claimed as much as a billion dollars in benefits from EDD. [19]. In politics, they call it optics, or appearances — how something looks might not be the full measure of what it really is. [7] Monica J. Harris and Christopher P. Garris, “You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression: Behavioral Consequences of First Impressions,” in First Impressions, eds. [1] Robert B. Cialdini and Brad J. Sagarin, “Principles of Interpersonal Influence,” in Persuasion: Psychological Insights and Perspectives, 2nd ed., eds. Geometrical optics has to do with the principles that govern the image-forming properties of devices that make use of light. Hence this type of property is called wave-particle duality and the study of light in the area of physics is known as Optics. Duration: 46:00 02-11-2020. the public's opinion and understanding of a situation after seeing it as the media shows it, and the possible political effects of this: The political optics of this are horrible … [3]  Attractive individuals are thereby subject to being unfairly clothed with an aura of positive qualities that in many cases, they do not have. “Optics” in that sentence does indeed mean “appearance” or “public perception,” the simple “how it looks” likely to be understood by voters, which in this case is being counterposed to the supposed deeper reasoning behind Mitt Romney’s decision not to sign a pledge being circulated by a political group. Ultimately, he was viewed as not only uncaring but unwilling to offer leadership in an existential crisis, and lost to Joe Biden, one of the most lackluster presidential candidates in American history. As you might surmise, "optics" is important for political purposes. EDD is now seen as a department incompetently handling legitimate claims for vital benefits while incompetently paying those benefits to prisoners who use obviously phony, even comical, names and Social Security numbers they simply make up, including 123-45-6789. While undoubtedly affected by a variety of other factors, the reality of this phenomenon indicates the presence of an attractiveness bias. Studies of political elections demonstrate that good-looking candidates get more votes. Although the optics of the bicycle rack are not good, true ugliness may lie in optics of a different sort. So here we are, I'm back. Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? We have another example of optical failure in California’s recent past — the recall of Gov. Phone calls went unanswered and unprocessed claims for benefits piled up and at one point, Newsom suspended new applications to let EDD concentrate on its shameful backlog of claims. You can find our submission guidelines here. ‘the issue itself is secondary to the optics of the Democrats opposing this administration in a high-profile way’. Bad optics can sink political careers calmatters.org - Dan Walters. If you found our work valuable in this crisis-filled year for California, please consider supporting our newsroom. [10] Montepare and Dobish, “The Contribution of Emotion Perceptions,” 240 (citing DePaulo, Blank, Swaim, and Hairfield, 1992; Mueser, Grau, Sussman, and Rosen, 1984). As a political term, “optics” took advantage of the rapidly growing representational accuracy of media coverage of politics. However, once media figures began using “optics” to describe political events in terms of what they look like, their underlying theory of perception quickly took a more abstract quality. "Good optics" means that even if laws were broken and lives were lost, people will forgive what happened and think kindly of those who muddled through it. Candidates who shared political orientation with media outlets were presented as being warmer and more competent, compared with those with an opposing political orientation. Bad optics undid Donald Trump and Gray Davis, which is a lesson for California Gov. As I was unfamiliar with the word ‘optics’ used in a ‘political’ connotation, I checked OED and CED online, and found out: Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘optics’ as: (North Ame.) Timothy C. Brock and Melanie C. Green (Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2005) 143–69 (156). [12] Guerrero and Floyd, Nonverbal Communication 58−59 (citing Kuhlenschmidt and Conger, 1988). Optics usually describes the behaviour of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. [4] Judith H. Langlois, Lisa Kalakanis, Adam J. Rubenstein, Andrea Larson, Monica Hallam, and Monica Smoot, “Maxims or Myths of Beauty? Whoops! [4], The impact of the halo effect in political elections can be significant. There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. He was such a nice looking person they were saying. However, mea culpas do not automatically repair the damage. We had a stark lesson in that axiom this year when Donald Trump talked himself out of a second term as president. [16], This finding is significant due to the influence that a photograph can project. Gavin Newsom is now mid-way through his first term as governor and he, too, is facing twin crises, the pandemic that undid Trump and a severe recession resulting from his orders to shut down much of the state’s consumer economy to battle COVID-19. Note, however, that in another study, it was found that attractive people fared no better than their average-looking counterparts when measuring qualities such as friendliness, intelligence, and honesty. Typically in a political context) the way in which an event or course of action is perceived by the public. Newsom’s gubernatorial career won’t be undone by an ideological revolution in blue California, but it could be short-circuited by bad optics — a perception that he’s out of touch and incapable of managing even routine governmental business. The impact of candidate photographs was explored in a study by Eric Hehman et al. Proudly powered by Newspack by Automattic. Schneider et al., Applied Social Psychology, 82 (citing Brehm, Miller, Perlman, and Campbell, 2002). Want to submit a guest commentary or reaction to an article we wrote? The Politician´s Halo: When Appearances Are Confused With Reality, The tendency to favor political candidates who are easy on the eyes is explained by the halo effect. Meanwhile, Newsom faces seemingly endless managerial disasters, with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Employment Development Department — two agencies that directly interact with ordinary Californians — in the starring roles. TWEET. Status Update: Why Does Having Power Promote Promiscuity. IN about all moral contexts, justice gets seen to be done only when an adjudicator is even-handed in the measures dealt to the contending parties. People are likely to regard attractive people in a more positive light than those who are less-attractive. More example sentences. We had a stark lesson in that axiom this year when Donald Trump talked himself out of a second term as president. In politics, they call it optics, or appearances — how something looks might not be the full measure of what it really is. In an attempted prosecution of a male defendant with model looks I will never forget what I happened to hear some of the lady jurors saying to one another as they stood on the escalator going down to the courthouse exit after the trial had ended. Optics is a branch of physics that deals with the determination of behaviour and the properties of light, along … [17] This finding is particularly important because these qualities are universally linked with leadership. 2 plural in form but singular in construction : the aspects of an action, policy, or decision (as in politics or business) that relate to public perceptions … when a broken-down bailout recipient like Citigroup tries to pay its top executives gigantic bonuses or to acquire a new private jet, it … Shortly after being re-elected in 2002, Davis confronted two simultaneous crises, a hole in the state budget stemming from a mild recession and a near-collapse of California’s electrical power system. An obvious one is Newsom’s tone deaf attendance at a gathering of political operatives at a very expensive restaurant in Napa as he was beseeching 40 million other Californians to avoid such gatherings because of COVID-19. For months he dismissed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as infection rates, deaths and the public’s fears zoomed upward. How significant is this effect? entitled “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents.” [14], The researchers found that in general, people are more likely to read articles that are accompanied by photographs. One of the major reasons for the decline of TRS’s popularity is its optical failure. optics noun [U] (MEDIA) US informal. Nalini Ambady and John J. Skowronski (New York: The Guilford Press, 2008) 147–68 (153) (citing Miller, 1970). "The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad," according to a Jan. 31 email from an Office of Management and Budget staffer printed in the Washington Post. We expect good-looking people to be more outspoken, amiable, accommodating, content, humorous, and observant than their unattractive counterparts. San Jose mayor names outgoing council member for key commission Among its tasks, the commission will explore a strong mayor proposal. We rely on the generous support of our readers. The take away? Administrators worry about the bad optics of hiring new staff during a budget crisis. Metaphorical expansion of optics into political and other arenas in fact dates back to the late 1970s, when it was used in the context of US President Jimmy Carter's anti-inflation policy. 1, 46–52, DOI: 10.1037/a0026513. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. SHARE. More by Dan Walters. For months he dismissed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as infection rates, deaths and the public’s fears zoomed … 1, No. As much as we like to believe otherwise, in politics, as in many other areas of life, people are positively influenced by good looks. looks have an impact on the jury too. Get a veteran journalist's take on what's going on in California with a weekly round-up of Dan's column every Friday. The jury on Newsom’s handling of both is still out, but they could be politically overshadowed by the bad optics of ancillary aspects. [13] Schneider et al., Applied Social Psychology, 82. [7] But there is more. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Bad optics? A politician playing golf during a violent protest in their home state would be an example of bad optics. Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. In real life politics, as opposed to the textbook variety, hard fact is much less important than image or, as political pros put it, “optics.”. [2] Judee K. Burgoon, Laura K. Guerrero, and Kory Floyd, Nonverbal Communication (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2010), 83. noun [18] The researchers concluded that presenting images of political figures that differ in terms of warmth and competence influence the impressions formed by readers. Wendy L. Patrick, J.D., Ph.D., is a career trial attorney, behavioral analyst, author of Red Flags, and co-author of Reading People. The DMV has always been the state agency that Californians love to hate, but anger reached the white hot stage when those with business had to endure hours-long waits.Eventually, things returned to a more normal state of frustration, but just as DMV’s woes faded from the public consciousness, EDD entered it. SHARE. [11] Guerrero and Floyd, Nonverbal Communication 58−59 (citing Cherulnik, 1989). Please contact Gary Reed with any commentary questions: gary@calmatters.org, (916) 234-3081. [6] Robert B. Cialdini and Brad J. Sagarin, “Principles of Interpersonal Influence,” in Persuasion: Psychological Insights and Perspectives, 2nd ed., eds. Optics, science concerned with the genesis and propagation of light and with the changes that it undergoes and produces. Bad optics would be giving the media or the political opposition a juicy story to play with. One of the most important visual symbols in politics is a candidate’s facial expression and physical appearance. [13], What about voters who do not attend political functions or events? 27, No. Please reload the page and try again. Optics are the way something looks to an outsider, especially concerning political actions. This Might Be Why, How to Spark Powerful Chemistry Through Simple Conversation, Know your Neighbors: Lessons From the Paris Attacks, Voting With Our Eyes: Attractive Candidates Get More Votes, 3 Irresistible Qualities in a Mate That Aren't Physical, Toward a Photo Finish: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Votes. Is Someone Avoiding You? These photons have both the properties of a wave as well as a particle. SHARE. [15] Not only are they more likely to read them, but they are also more likely to remember them, because images enhance the memorability of articles in the news. [9] Joann M. Montepare and Heidi Dobish, “The Contribution of Emotion Perceptions and Their Overgeneralizations to Trait Impressions,” Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, Vol. A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review,” Psychological Bulletin Vol. Political repercussions are all about optics. Interestingly, at the time, the metaphor also extended to the related adjective optical , with for example a particular course of action being described as a 'nice optical step'. | The Right Stand With Anand Narasimhan. This is because the halo effect causes people to assume that good-looking individuals have other positive qualities. [15] Hehman et al., “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents,” 46 (citing Zillman, Knobloch, & Yu, 2001). According to the following extract from Macmillan Dictionary, the metaphoric usage of optics dates back to the late '70s: Metaphorical expansion of optics into political and other arenas in fact dates back to the late 1970s, when it was used in the context of US President Jimmy Carter's anti-inflation policy. Gavin Newsom.In real life politics, as opposed to the … Gray Davis in 2003. As much as we like to believe otherwise, in politics, as in many other areas of life, people are positively influenced by good looks. [19] Hehman et al., “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents,” 50 (citing McCombs & Shaw, 1972). [14] Eric Hehman, Elana C. Graber, Lindsay H. Hoffman, and Samuel L. Gaertner, “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents,” Psychology of Popular Media Culture 2012, Vol. Use the unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time. [5] Laura K. Guerrero and Kory Floyd, Nonverbal Communication in Close Relationships (Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006),58. He began his professional career in 1960, at age 16, at the Humboldt Times... Gavin Newsom. Despite our better judgment and logical sense that we should not judge a book by its cover, research demonstrates that we do. [17] Hehman et al., “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents,” 50. ... More in City Politics. 3 (2000): 390-423. 4, Winter, 2003, 237−254 (240) (citing Eagly, Ashmore, Makhijani, and Longo, 1991). [9] Regarding facial expression, attractive faces are positively linked with positive affect and emotional expression. #BTColumn – The politics of optics and illusions - by Barbados Today Traffic October 3, 2020 . They are not immune from the halo effect if they follow the news in any fashion that involves photographs, because positive qualities can be portrayed through a photograph alone. One study that reviewed federal elections in Canada revealed that attractive candidates gained over two and one-half times the votes than candidates who were unattractive.[1]. Published on October 3, 2020 Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the … Attractive individuals are believed to have other positive characteristics, such as being kind and strong. [8], Regarding a candidate´s social behavior, it is interesting to note that socially, attractiveness is linked with both affiliation and dominance. Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. They were expounding at how such a good looking man could not be guilty of committing what we had accused him of. 3 Reasons Why Being Single Is the New "Finding the One", 10 Words or Phrases That Convey Intelligence and Nuance, The Best Way to Deal with the Selfish People in Your Life, Psychology Today © 2020 Sussex Publishers, LLC, The Strongest Predictors of Sexual Desire, 3 Glimpses into the Hidden World of Gender Bias, “Black Lives Matter” Matters for Children’s Development. [3] Viren Swami and Adrian Furnham, The Psychology of Physical Attraction (London: Routledge, 2008), 11. Politics at CNN has news, opinion and analysis of American and global politics Find news and video about elections, the White House, the U.N and much more. Body Positivity: What Goes Around Comes Around? Now we use the word to describe how political statements and decisions are received in the … [6], We also expect certain things from attractive individuals. Article by Barbados Today Traffic. Raymond Hébert, a political science professor emeritus at Université de Saint-Boniface, said it best in a recent interview with the Free Press. Publications, 2005 ) 143–69 ( 156 ) based on a candidate ’ recent... Presence of an attractiveness bias Steering state Farm Bills or reaction to an article we?! Email address with CalMatters to receive marketing, updates, and infrared light repair the.! People drawn to conspiracy theories in Times of crisis Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review, ” 50 is important. May lie in optics of the Democrats opposing this administration in a more light... Hiring new staff during a violent protest in their home state would be an example optical. Another example of bad optics of hiring new staff during a violent protest in home. 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