[November 9, 2016 - Pardon my translation]
'Our stone age brains have chosen.' This is how professor Evolutionary Psychology of Mark van Vugt (VU) reacts to Donald Trump's victory in the race for the presidency. A year ago, Van Vugt's research group had already established that Trump, when one of the many candidates, was a good contender for the presidency. The man has 'all the outer features of a leader', according to Van Vugt.
"As a human I have a great hangover," says Van Vugt, who has n his department "many liberal Americans". "But as a scientist I say: we are political animals. And animals, you have to take that literally. People base their choices on their leaders. And that feeling gives us a strong preference for male leaders, all over the world. "
The leadership theory that the psychologists investigate assume that people partly vote on their instincts, without being aware of it. When threatening from outside, one will tend to tough, male leaders; If internal problems in the group are on the rise, women have the advantage, as stereotype converters and bridge builders.When Van Vugt and Grabo a year ago, at the request of De Volkskrant, analyzed the candidate's features, Trump strongly scored "gorilla-like" features: wide jaw, small eyes, long, heavy voice.
The battle for Clinton, they predicted in September, could be if her reliability was undermined - for example, through a new email affair. "All studies show that we judge women as trustworthy. But if there is information that shows that the woman in question is unreliable, that benefit goes away. "That's what Clinton could have blamed," he thinks.
Last year, De Volkskrant launched a playful bet between Van Vugt and the research group of professor Bertjan Verbeek, professor of Radboud University. As a politicologist, Verbeek does not see the individuals, but the political-social force game around the election. For example, Verbeek estimated that Bernie Sanders would stay in the race for longer than expected. But if the bet has a winner, that's 'Team van Vugt', acknowledges Verbeek.