Beauty, educational prestige and vote choice in Indonesia: an experimental study

Ferdinand Eskol Tiar Sirait, Afrimadona, Eriyanto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates how young voters make political choices in the absence of adequate information about the candidates they will vote for. Under conditions of low information, voters often use whatever cues they see in the ballot paper to help them make decisions in a short time. This mental process is known as heuristics. Using online experimental methods with two-by-two factorial design, this study examines two forms of heuristics that young voters can use in their political decisions, namely, candidates’ appearance and their academic degrees. The results show that only the candidates’ academic attainment has a significant effect on the voting preferences of young voters. This academic degree primarily affects voters’ intention to vote. However, neither academic titles nor beautiful faces have any effect on voters’ willingness to recommend the candidates to others, engage in their campaigns, or contribute to their campaign finances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-360
Number of pages20
JournalSouth East Asia Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Academic degree
  • beauty
  • factorial design
  • heuristics
  • Indonesia
  • voter behaviour


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