Objective: Following evolutionary psychology, we argue that physical stature matters in preferences regarding political leadership. Particularly, a preference for physically formidable leaders evolved to promote survivability in the violent human ancestral history. Methods: We present two studies of original data to assess individual attitudes regarding the association between physical stature and political leadership. Analytical methods include ordered probit regression. Results: The findings are consistent with the evolutionary theory presented here. Study 1 indicates that individuals tend to prefer leaders with greater physical stature, while Study 2 indicates that males with greater physical stature are more likely to think of themselves as qualified to be a leader and, through this increased sense of efficacy, they are more likely to demonstrate interest in pursuing a leadership position. Conclusion: Consistent with emerging evidence from other research perspectives, political behavior, in this case preferences regarding political leadership, is shaped by both environmental and evolutionary forces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)