The findings for women were surprising in light of the partner preference data. The authors conclude their fascinating study by pointing out that much of this height perception and preference is relative. Men were most satisfied with women slightly shorter than them about 3 in. They estimated their own height, and reported on their sex , ethnicity most were Dutch or German , and reported on their sexual orientation. Napoleon aside, tall men are more likely to win the popular contest in presidential votes and to be re-elected once in office Stulp, Finally, given the biases that people in Western societies have toward height, they recognize that their participants may not always be completely truthful. There was also a very practical reason that motivated Stulp and his team to investigate height preferences. Stulp and his colleagues sought to understand not only who prefers whom in terms of height, but also how people feel about their own height.
The rest of the questions, simply enough, asked them to report on their relationship status, the height of their partner, the satisfaction with their own height, and their satisfaction with the height of their partners. Tall women were more satisfied with their height than short women were. The Leadership Quarterly, 24 1 , They were also curious to learn how and why people are satisfied with their own height. In the beast-eats-man world of primitive civilizations, this argument might have a rationale. Personality and Individual Differences. The authors conclude their fascinating study by pointing out that much of this height perception and preference is relative. However, some parents seek to take matters into their own hands by giving their too-short or too-tall children hormonal treatments during the years of active growth. There are two pessimistic interpretations of these findings, then. In an intriguing study, Dutch psychologists Gert Stulp, Abraham Buunk, and Thomas Pollet followed up on some of their earlier work on male height to find out more about what leads women to prefer those lanky guys. We can offset this by keeping in mind the age group of the participants might offer some hope. How do all these partner differences translate to personal satisfaction? Finally, given the biases that people in Western societies have toward height, they recognize that their participants may not always be completely truthful. As it turns out, people do tend to partner with people of similar height due to a phenomenon known as assortative mating. They estimated their own height, and reported on their sex , ethnicity most were Dutch or German , and reported on their sexual orientation. This then becomes translated into social attitudes. Copyright Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph. The other finding, that short men and women are both dissatisfied with their height, may also apply more to the young than the psychologically more mature. Men are taller because of hormonal influences, to be sure. Again, this is a problem that time, and greater experience in the world, can help them conquer. One is that no one is ever truly happy with the height of his or her partner. However, among married couples, women are more likely to be shorter than their husbands, if only by a few inches. The findings for women were surprising in light of the partner preference data. This study shows the hidden biases we may have toward people based on nothing other than their physical appearance. Arguing against the evolutionary interpretation, they point out that height preferences are not universal throughout the world, as has been shown in studies of non-Western sample. The participants in this study were first-year heterosexual psychology students who received course credit for completing the survey.
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