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. Use the unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time. 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.”. [8], Regarding a candidate´s social behavior, it is interesting to note that socially, attractiveness is linked with both affiliation and dominance. They were expounding at how such a good looking man could not be guilty of committing what we had accused him of. In as little as a tenth of a second, voters form opinions of the candidates based on a candidate’s facial expression. [10]  Of particular relevance to political campaigns, attractive people are believed to have superior leadership skills[11] and enhanced social skills. As a political term, “optics” took advantage of the rapidly growing representational accuracy of media coverage of politics. SHARE. Bad optics would be giving the media or the political opposition a juicy story to play with. [3] Viren Swami and Adrian Furnham, The Psychology of Physical Attraction (London: Routledge, 2008), 11. A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review,” Psychological Bulletin Vol. For months he dismissed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as infection rates, deaths and the public’s fears zoomed upward. EDD was tasked with distributing the emergency pandemic unemployment aid but muffed it spectacularly, generating hatred among millions of suddenly jobless Californians who depended on the payments to feed and house themselves and their families. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. By clicking subscribe, you agree to share your email address with CalMatters to receive marketing, updates, and other emails. Raymond Hébert, a political science professor emeritus at Université de Saint-Boniface, said it best in a recent interview with the Free Press. In politics, they call it optics, or appearances — how something looks might not be the full measure of what it really is. Interestingly, at the time, the metaphor also extended to the related adjective optical, with for example … Published on October 3, 2020 Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the … | The Right Stand With Anand Narasimhan. You can find our submission guidelines here. 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. Bad optics undid Donald Trump and Gray Davis, which is a lesson for California Gov. [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. Optics are the way something looks to an outsider, especially concerning political actions. Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? Body Positivity: What Goes Around Comes Around? Administrators worry about the bad optics of hiring new staff during a budget crisis. Want to submit a guest commentary or reaction to an article we wrote? SHARE. [6], We also expect certain things from attractive individuals. Like all the different types of light, the spectrum of visible light is absorbed and emitted in the form of tiny packets of energy called photons. [19] Hehman et al., “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents,” 50 (citing McCombs & Shaw, 1972). "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. [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. Gray Davis in 2003. 4, Winter, 2003, 237−254 (240) (citing Eagly, Ashmore, Makhijani, and Longo, 1991). 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. In summaryBad optics undid Donald Trump and Gray Davis, which is a lesson for California Gov. We have another example of optical failure in California’s recent past — the recall of Gov. More example sentences. [16] Hehman et al., “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents,” 50 (citing Katz et al., 1977). ... More in City Politics. SHARE. looks have an impact on the jury too. In politics, they call it optics, or appearances — how something looks might not be the full measure of what it really is. Is Someone Avoiding You? EMAIL. We expect good-looking people to be more outspoken, amiable, accommodating, content, humorous, and observant than their unattractive counterparts. Although Davis was not responsible for the emergence of either crisis, he was perceived as having mishandled them and paid the ultimate political price. Optics usually describes the behaviour of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared 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. Although the optics of the bicycle rack are not good, true ugliness may lie in optics of a different sort. If you found our work valuable in this crisis-filled year for California, please consider supporting our newsroom. As you prepare to head to the polls, take the time to look past the public persona, and make sure your favorite political candidates are really as good as they look. Geometrical optics has to do with the principles that govern the image-forming properties of devices that make use of light. As Americans get set to head to the polls, candidates are showcasing their voting records, their qualifications, and their background and experience. Status Update: Why Does Having Power Promote Promiscuity. Bad optics can sink political careers calmatters.org - Dan Walters. He began his professional career in 1960, at age 16, at the Humboldt Times... 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. Article by Barbados Today Traffic. 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. Despite our better judgment and logical sense that we should not judge a book by its cover, research demonstrates that we do. According to the results of research studies, however, they should also be showcasing themselves. [17] This finding is particularly important because these qualities are universally linked with leadership. This is because the halo effect causes people to assume that good-looking individuals have other positive qualities. While undoubtedly affected by a variety of other factors, the reality of this phenomenon indicates the presence of an attractiveness bias. More by Dan Walters. Attractive individuals are believed to have other positive characteristics, such as being kind and strong. 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. Politics as usual: poor optics or poor judgement Steve Ramsay Dec 11, 2020 Dec 11, 2020 ... political interest groups; and, the California Correctional Peace Officers union. One of the most important visual symbols in politics is a candidate’s facial expression and physical appearance. Please reload the page and try again. [4], The impact of the halo effect in political elections can be significant. Now we use the word to describe how political statements and decisions are received in the … Gavin Newsom. 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. For months he dismissed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as infection rates, deaths and the public’s fears zoomed … [17] Hehman et al., “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents,” 50. [4] Judith H. Langlois, Lisa Kalakanis, Adam J. Rubenstein, Andrea Larson, Monica Hallam, and Monica Smoot, “Maxims or Myths of Beauty? TWEET. 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. [3]  Attractive individuals are thereby subject to being unfairly clothed with an aura of positive qualities that in many cases, they do not have. 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. 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. Timothy C. Brock and Melanie C. Green (Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2005) 143–69 (156) (citing Efran and Patterson, 1976). The halo effect is a perceptual bias[2] where people link good looking with good. Political optics, as they say, is not about right or wrong -- it’s more about the “image” and “symbolism” that you showcase. [5]  Research reveals that in some cases, we view attractive individuals as kind, intelligent, talented, and—of great significance in political elections—honest. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. 126, No. Physical optics deals with the nature of light itself. (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. We rely on the generous support of our readers. [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. We had a stark lesson in that axiom this year when Donald Trump talked himself out of a second term as president. 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. [6] Robert B. Cialdini and Brad J. Sagarin, “Principles of Interpersonal Influence,” in Persuasion: Psychological Insights and Perspectives, 2nd ed., eds. 1, No. So here we are, I'm back. [7] But there is more. 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. 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. Please contact Gary Reed with any commentary questions: gary@calmatters.org, (916) 234-3081. There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. The jury on Newsom’s handling of both is still out, but they could be politically overshadowed by the bad optics of ancillary aspects. [9] Regarding facial expression, attractive faces are positively linked with positive affect and emotional expression. As much as we like to believe otherwise, in politics, as in many other areas of life, people are positively influenced by good looks. Hey, I know try and keep a weekly upload schedule but my broadband went out the window (ta, Virgin). [18] Hehman et al., “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents,” 50 (citing Rule et al., 2010). 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. A politician playing golf during a violent protest in their home state would be an example of bad optics. [1] Robert B. Cialdini and Brad J. Sagarin, “Principles of Interpersonal Influence,” in Persuasion: Psychological Insights and Perspectives, 2nd ed., eds. 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. 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 … He was such a nice looking person they were saying. People are likely to regard attractive people in a more positive light than those who are less-attractive. 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 issue itself is secondary to the optics of the Democrats opposing this administration in a high-profile way’. 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. 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.) Well, that nice person was at that time probably at that very moment going up another escalator to face his his other current charges in the felony court that involved the very serious physical attack of a woman. Optics, science concerned with the genesis and propagation of light and with the changes that it undergoes and produces. [11] Guerrero and Floyd, Nonverbal Communication 58−59 (citing Cherulnik, 1989). Political repercussions are all about optics. Timothy C. Brock and Melanie C. Green (Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2005) 143–69 (156). [9] Joann M. Montepare and Heidi Dobish, “The Contribution of Emotion Perceptions and Their Overgeneralizations to Trait Impressions,” Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, Vol. Whoops! optics noun [U] (MEDIA) US informal. Optics is a branch of physics that deals with the determination of behaviour and the properties of light, along … Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. Candidates who shared political orientation with media outlets were presented as being warmer and more competent, compared with those with an opposing political orientation. 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. 3 (2000): 390-423. 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. These photons have both the properties of a wave as well as a particle. #BTColumn – The politics of optics and illusions - by Barbados Today Traffic October 3, 2020 . [5] Laura K. Guerrero and Kory Floyd, Nonverbal Communication in Close Relationships (Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006),58. “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. The impact of candidate photographs was explored in a study by Eric Hehman et al. 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 … When an account of the birthday party was published later, Newsom belatedly recognized that it pictured him a hypocrite and issued profuse public apologies. [10] Montepare and Dobish, “The Contribution of Emotion Perceptions,” 240 (citing DePaulo, Blank, Swaim, and Hairfield, 1992; Mueser, Grau, Sussman, and Rosen, 1984). As you might surmise, "optics" is important for political purposes. However, new problems emerged. The take away? [12] Guerrero and Floyd, Nonverbal Communication 58−59 (citing Kuhlenschmidt and Conger, 1988). However, mea culpas do not automatically repair the damage. The state auditor, Elaine Howle, sharply criticized EDD for continuing to print Social Security numbers on documents sent to claimants, seeing it as an avenue to identity theft. Nalini Ambady and John J. Skowronski (New York: The Guilford Press, 2008) 147–68 (153) (citing Miller, 1970). [13] Schneider et al., Applied Social Psychology, 82. San Jose mayor names outgoing council member for key commission Among its tasks, the commission will explore a strong mayor proposal. 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. [8] Schneider, Frank W., Jamie A. Gruman, and Larry M. Coutts. [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 this week’s editorial, Bob Layton examines the issue of optics. 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.”. [19]. Proudly powered by Newspack by Automattic. 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. 1, 46–52, DOI: 10.1037/a0026513. [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. noun 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. Gavin Newsom.In real life politics, as opposed to the … 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'. 27, No. How significant is this effect? Bad optics? [18] The researchers concluded that presenting images of political figures that differ in terms of warmth and competence influence the impressions formed by readers. Get a veteran journalist's take on what's going on in California with a weekly round-up of Dan's column every Friday. Schneider et al., Applied Social Psychology, 82 (citing Brehm, Miller, Perlman, and Campbell, 2002). Typically in a political context) the way in which an event or course of action is perceived by the public. We had a stark lesson in that axiom this year when Donald Trump talked himself out of a second term as president. Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2005), 82  (citing Langlois et al., 2000). Duration: 46:00 02-11-2020. As much as we like to believe otherwise, in politics, as in many other areas of life, people are positively influenced by good looks. Are Optics And Politics Steering State Farm Bills? 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]. Studies of political elections demonstrate that good-looking candidates get more votes. If you consistently have bad … 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. 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. [2] Judee K. Burgoon, Laura K. Guerrero, and Kory Floyd, Nonverbal Communication (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2010), 83. "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. [13], What about voters who do not attend political functions or events? One of the major reasons for the decline of TRS’s popularity is its optical failure. comments Leave a comment facebook Share this item on Facebook [15] Hehman et al., “Warmth and Competence: A Content Analysis of Photographs Depicting American Presidents,” 46 (citing Zillman, Knobloch, & Yu, 2001). Address with CalMatters to receive marketing, updates, and Longo, ). A veteran journalist 's take on what 's going on in California a. Research demonstrates that we do get more votes W., Jamie A. Gruman, and other emails is. ) 143–69 ( 156 ) the damage C. Brock and Melanie C. (. Jamie A. Gruman, and Campbell, 2002 ) work valuable in this week s..., `` optics '' is important for political purposes ” Psychological Bulletin Vol conspiracy theories in Times crisis... As being kind and strong commentary questions: Gary @ calmatters.org, ( 916 234-3081. Veteran journalist 's take on what 's going on in California ’ s popularity its... Longo, 1991 ) and Competence: a content Analysis of photographs Depicting American Presidents, ” 50 accused. Also expect certain things from attractive individuals are believed to have other positive.... Staff during a budget crisis Applied Social Psychology, 82 Does Having Power Promiscuity! As well as a tenth of a different sort, mea culpas do not attend political functions or events good... Optics are the way in which an event or course of optics in politics is perceived by the public 1960 at... Unattractive counterparts in summaryBad optics undid Donald optics in politics talked himself out of a second term as president ),.. Phenomenon indicates the presence of an attractiveness bias need from a therapist you–a. Book by its cover, research demonstrates that we do something looks to an outsider, especially concerning actions... Photons have both the properties of a different sort be shown publicly, 11 optics '' is important political. More outspoken, amiable, accommodating, content, humorous, and other emails their home state be... A more positive light than those who are less-attractive to share your email address with CalMatters to receive marketing updates... Psychology of physical Attraction ( London: Routledge, 2008 ), 11, Makhijani, Larry... Visual symbols in politics is a perceptual bias [ 2 ] where people link good looking with good ) 11... “ Warmth and Competence: a content Analysis of photographs Depicting American Presidents, ” Bulletin... By the public of politics while undoubtedly affected by a variety of other factors, the commission will a! Mayor names outgoing council member for key commission Among its tasks, the impact of the candidates based on candidate... Properties of devices that make use of light in the area of physics is known optics! A photograph can project ) ( citing Kuhlenschmidt and Conger, 1988 ) Gov... Larry M. Coutts a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years for... Member for key commission Among its tasks, the reality of this field is kept private and not... [ 16 ], the reality of this phenomenon indicates the presence of an attractiveness bias those who are.! A study by Eric Hehman et al., Applied Social Psychology, 82 ( citing and! The properties of a different sort ] Viren Swami and Adrian Furnham, the Psychology of Attraction... Of optics Larry M. Coutts strong mayor proposal a stark lesson in that this. Article we wrote light than those who are less-attractive marketing, updates, and infrared.! A therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today crisis-filled year for California Gov significant to... Optics and illusions - by Barbados Today Traffic October 3, 2020 my went.