From Ohio State University:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – If you want to predict which political party someone will support, take note of the person’s height.
The taller a person is, the more likely he or she is to support conservative political positions, support a conservative party and actually vote for conservative politicians, according to a new study using data from Britain.
“If you take two people with nearly identical characteristics – except one is taller than the other – on average the taller person will be more politically conservative,” said Sara Watson, co-author of the study and assistant professor of political science at The Ohio State University.
The researchers found that a one-inch increase in height increased support for the Conservative Party by 0.6 percent and the likelihood of voting for the party by 0.5 percent.
The results aren’t as strange as they might appear, Watson said. Many studies have found that taller people generally earn more income than do shorter people and researchers have thought income could be linked to voting.
Watson said they conducted this study because, while political scientists have long theorized about an income-voting relationship, studies using real-world data have shown mixed results. Some researchers find a link, while others see little or no effect.
“We were thinking about why there were so many seemingly contradictory findings. One reason might be that income fluctuates from year to year, so that a relationship between your overall economic well-being and your political beliefs can be hard to uncover,” she said.
“That’s why we decided to see if height might be a good way to assess the link between income and voting.”
Researchers in anthropology and economics have long used height as a measure of economic well-being, especially among historical populations for which we have little or no income data.
Watson added that a number of recent studies have extended this …