The Unexpected Correlation between Height with Paranoia (Guardian)

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Whether you exaggerate your height or wear three-inch heels just to feel taller, we are all socially conditioned to “valorize the tall and belittle the short.”  Daniel Freeman, professor in clinical psychology at the University of Oxford, and Jason Freeman have found that paranoia, rooted in a sense of inferiority and vulnerability, can emerge when people are shorter. Using virtual reality headsets to take a simulated tube train journey, surrounded by computer-generated avatars, participants found that taking the virtual tube journey a head shorter than normal led to “increased feelings, weakness, and incompetence.” However, this study may signify simulating an increase in height would increase self-esteem, a tool that can be used to help people feel taller in VR social situations and ultimately more confident in the real world. See the VR simulation and read about the study here. 

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