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Tall Power

Maybe the powerful really do feel bigger than the rest of us, which may be why they boss us around. A recent study finds that the psychological experience of power makes people feel taller than they really are. In other words, there is actually a physical experience that goes along with feeling powerful. Three experiments with over 200 American men and women confirmed that there is a relationship between feelings of power and one's self-perception of height.

Behaviorist Jack Goncalo says, "Using different manipulations of power and measures of perceived height, we found that people literally perceived themselves as taller when they occupied a more powerful position. Although a great deal of research has shown that physically imposing individuals are more likely to acquire power, this work is the first to show that the powerful may actually feel taller than they are."

At least nature at times tends to cut them down to size.

This study brings up some interesting questions, such as: Do short people attempt to capture power by physically elevating themselves above others? Would it be possible to psychologically empower people by giving them an office on the top floor?

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