At Next Caz Forum: Political Charisma – How it Works and Why You Are Falling for It

9 Sep

With the presidential election drawing near, the Cazenovia Forum will take a “deep dive” into the ways political leaders tap the roots of human nature as psychologist Carrie Keating, a nationally-known expert on non-verbal communication, takes the lectern to give her thoughts on the candidates.

0Keating, the chair of the psychology department at Colgate University, will speak at 7:00pm on Friday, September 23, in the ballroom of the new Hampton Inn on Route 20 just east of Cazenovia Village. Admission is free and a reception will follow.


Keating researches the nonverbal skills and physical appearances associated with social dominance, leadership, and charisma in children and adults. She has found, for example, that humans convey dominance through facial expressions akin to those of other primates, and that facial features which make people appear powerful also make them seem untrustworthy.

When it comes to political candidates, Keating says “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it, and even how you present physically before you say anything at all.”

Her studies have been featured in the print media and on radio, and she has appeared on numerous television shows including Scientific American Frontiers, Dateline NBC, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and ABC’s Good Morning America and What Would You Do? Keating’s presentation will focus on current and previous candidates in the current election cycle and particularly on how her research reveals the ways political leaders impress, persuade, charm and ultimately cultivate devoted followers.


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