Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 4 December, 2022

Short man syndrome DOES exist, Oxford University says so

Paranoid things come in small packages, apparently.


That’s the question men and women have been asking shorter lads for years and now it looks as though Oxford University academics have finally found the proof they needed to confirm that the question might just ring true.

Defined by the Urban Dictionary as ‘a personality complex that consists of power trips and false machismo to make up for short height and feelings of inferiority’, the ‘Napoleon Complex’ is said to have inspired some of the world’s most famous figures.

From Atila the Hun to Mussolini, Tom Cruise to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (who stands at 5ft 5, in case you’re wondering), most of the world’s shorter men have been accused of having it at some stage.

In order to see if size really mattered, scientists at Oxford conducted an experiment in which a number of volunteers travelled on a computer-simulated tube train.

The Telegraph reports that each of them travelled on the train twice: During the first journey they travelled at their normal height but for the second they unknowingly had their height virtually adjusted by 10 inches, and the experience threw up some pretty interesting findings.

Firstly, there were “increased reports of negative feelings, such as being incompetent, dislikeable or inferior” from participants following the ‘shorter’ journey. They also displayed higher levels of mistrust, fear and paranoia, believing their neutral fellow passengers were “deliberately staring, thinking badly about them, or trying to cause distress”.

The results were published in Psychiatry Research, where those involved wrote that the findings were “very clear”:

Lowering of height led to more negative evaluations of the self compared with others and greater levels of paranoia.

“Being tall is associated with greater career and relationship success” said Professor Daniel Freeman, the man who led the study. He went on to add:

Height is taken to convey authority, and we feel taller when we feel more powerful. It is little wonder then that men and women tend to over-report their height.

Wonder what Tyrion Lannister would have to say about that?

Source: Tumblr

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