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Study: People Prefer Taller Candidates Because Of Evolution Study: People Prefer Taller Candidates Because Of Evolution

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Study: People Prefer Taller Candidates Because Of Evolution

October 18, 2011
Here's some news for you political consultants out there: no matter how you market them, physically weaker candidates have an inherent disadvantage based on thousands of years of evolution, a new paper argues.

People prefer taller candidates not because of what culture or the environment tells us, but because of an evolved psychological trait that associates physical strength with survival, according to a new study from Texas Tech University researchers Gregg R. Murray and J. David Schmitz.

"Culture and environment alone cannot explain how a preference for taller leaders is a universal trait we see in different cultures today, as well as in societies ranging from ancient Mayans, to pre-classical Greeks, and even animals," Schmitz said.

The paper, "Caveman Politics: Evolutionary Leadership Preferences and Physical Stature," appears in the latest edition of the journal Social Science Quarterly.
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