April 16, 2012 by staff · Comments Off
Men Look 17 Percent Taller When Holding A Gun, With gun in hand, a man of any size appears bigger, an altered notion that probably occurs at a subconscious level, a new study suggests. The research, funded by the U.S. Air Force, reveals a seemingly simple mechanism that was even in the brains of Neanderthals, and possibly common even to chimpanzees, to measure whether they would win or lose a fight with an aggressor.
“There’s nothing about the knowledge that gunpowder makes lead bullets fly through the air at damage-causing speeds that should make you think that a gun-bearer is bigger or stronger, yet you do,” lead study author Daniel Fessler, an associate professor of anthropology at UCLA, said in a statement. “Danger really does loom large – in our minds.”
Fessler, who is director of UCLA’s center for behavior, evolution, and culture, and his colleagues ran several tests in which participants were asked to estimate the height of men based on photos of their hand, which was holding one of various objects, including a handgun. In some of the tests, participants also rated the object holder’s overall size and muscularity based on a scale of six photos showing men with progressively more muscular bodies.
In one test, participants looked at four photos of different hands, each holding one of four objects: a caulking gun, electric drill, large saw, or handgun.