Many studies have been carried out to establish whether or not a link exists between height and success. In this post, we look to answer the question, does being tall make you a success?
Many of these studies look at the relationship between several seemingly innocuous physical features (e.g., body height) and occupational success. It turns out that shorter people are considered to have an advantage in certain sports (e.g., gymnastics, race car driving, etc.), whereas in many other sports taller people have a major advantage (e.g basketball – the one sport which most tall people are asked about!)
In most occupational fields, body height is not relevant to how well people are able to perform but nonetheless has been found to correlate with their success in several studies, although there may be other factors such as gender or socioeconomic status that explain this. Do taller people carry more confidence and thus this, in turn, assists them to dominate discussions in the boardroom for example?
One area in which it can be seen that height plays a part is in politics. In the United States presidential elections, the taller candidate won 22 out of 25 times in the 20th century. Nevertheless, Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, was 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) and several prominent world leaders of the 20th century, such as Vladimir Lenin, Benito Mussolini, Nicolae Ceaușescu and Joseph Stalin were of below average height. These examples, however, were all before modern forms of multi-media, i.e., television, which may further height discrimination in modern society.
Further, growing evidence suggests that height may be a proxy for confidence, which is likewise strongly correlated with occupational success.
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