October 27, 2008
What About Winks?

From Doonesbury’s daily feature, “Say What?” —

“For eight U.S. presidential elections during the period 1960-2004, the rapid blinker during debates received fewer overall votes than his opponent. In seven of these eight elections, the rapid blinker also lost the electoral vote and was defeated at the polls.”

Journal of Psychology observation, cited on net in reference to McCain blinking 3,000 times during the third debate


Posted by Jerome Doolittle at October 27, 2008 10:14 AM
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During the Biden/Palin debate, I became fascinated by how often Palin was blinking, and for about five minutes I counted the blinks. She was averaging (at any time she was speaking) one blink per second, but the blinking slowed down when Biden was talking. Of course, a lot of the time that Biden was speaking, Palin was looking down at her notes, so it was harder to tell whether she was blinking or not. I then watched Biden when he was speaking. He was blinking more than I was blinking at the time, (using that, I guess as a "norm" since I was not in a brightly lit room, nor was I stressed about anything) but not nearly as fast as Palin, and his excessive blinking seemed to taper off as he spoke.

I don't know what, if anything, this signifies. Do the lights they're facing them contribute to it, or is it wholly a stress indicator?

Posted by: Cranky Daze on October 27, 2008 5:58 PM
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