The Haunting of Hawking
I’m late in the day to be posting, but here! –
The first thing males examine when sizing up an opponent in a fight is head size. Kooky:
A study published in October’s Psychological Science found that people use a facial trait called the width-to-height ratio to instantly gauge the aggressive potential of others.. . .Prior to the U.K. study, McCormick said most differences in facial proportions had been thought to correlate most reliably with an individual’s stature. But in the case of the width-to-height ratio, she said the difference was not correlated with body size, which “signaled that it might have some other meaning or some other purpose.”In a widely reported 2008 study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, McCormick and her colleagues measured the width-to-height ratio from pictures of individual men and tested their aggressive tendencies in the laboratory. The results showed a high correlation between the size of this ratio and how aggressively they behaved in a game of provocation.“We found it intriguing that a measure of the face was associated with behavior,” she said. Turning to real world experience, McCormick said, “In that same paper, we reported that when we looked at this measurement of the faces of hockey players in the NHL, it was correlated with penalty minutes.”In the new study, participants were shown photos of men, controlled for ethnicity and other cultural cues such as facial hair, and were asked to rate the individuals on a variety of characteristics, including how aggressive they thought the person would be if provoked. McCormick said the results were startling; respondents could not only accurately gauge the aggressive tendencies in the men, they could do so “in as little as 39 milliseconds.”Participants’ estimates were “even more strongly correlated with the facial width-to-height ratio” than with how the men actually performed on the aggression test.
In other realms of human hostility, you should probably know what a hostile takeover is:
I did not know that…