The theory that short men end up as more aggressive than taller ones has been dismissed by a scientific study.
The University of Central Lancashire research for the BBC found taller men were more likely to lose their temper.
Men of different heights dueled with wooden sticks but one of the subjects deliberately provoked the other by rapping them across the knuckles. Heart monitors revealed it was the taller men who flew off the handle more quickly and hit back.
The research was designed to test Short Man Syndrome - or "Napoleon complex" - the theory that shorter men are more aggressive to dominate those who are taller than them.
"The results were consistent with the view that Small Man Syndrome is a myth" - Dr Mike Eslea
The experiment - called the Chopstick Game - involved 10 men of average height and the same number below 5ft 5ins. The subject who did the provoking had been briefed to do so by the scientists. The other men were under the impression they were being tested for physical attributes, reaction times and eye-hand co-ordination.
Dr Mike Eslea said the study suggested it made no more sense to say diminutive footballer Dennis Wise was aggressive on the pitch because he was small, than it was to say Robbie Savage was likewise because he was blond.
Dr Eslea said: "The results were consistent with the view that Small Man Syndrome is a myth. "When people see a short man being aggressive, they are likely to think it is due to his size simply because that attribute is obvious and grabs their attention." - BBC News
It's funny how a study was even needed to debunk Short Man Syndrome. The fact that the Napoleon Complex was named after a man who wasn't even short is a red flag. If short villains are in such abundance, they could have named it after one of the many dwarf tyrants. Never mind how small guys are usually the ones pushed around at school or the workplace.
Too bad there are a dozen more studies claiming short men are more aggressive, stupid, paranoid, etc. Most of these studies are conducted on small animals, short women, or ill people, then later used to solely disparage short men.
I've also seen countless claims of "angry Napoleons" coming out of the woodwork to attack tall guys. Of course, when guys want to impress the ladies, they claim nobody messes with them because they're so tall and intimidating. Whole thing is bonkers. Short men get "Short Man Syndrome" and "Napoleon Complex." Tall men get "gentle giant." Doesn't matter how often the opposite is true. The halo effect is strong. I often see people labeling those who discuss heightism with a "victim complex." The irony here is that it's society that has a victim complex, thinking short men are out to get them.
There's also a reason why the "if your boyfriend is short, he's your minion" meme exists. Jokes like this are made in the first place because people link stature with authority and submissiveness, like how in movies or video games, the leader tends to be taller than his lackeys (study on this here). Notice how many heroes in fiction tend to have a shorter sidekick. When it comes to height, an aggressive or ambitious short man is viewed as stepping out of line. If he has authority or power, it's unwarranted. A short man is expected to behave more than everyone else, especially tall men. If a tall man is a grade A, the short man must remain a B at best. It's called overcompensating because you must not overstep the boundaries. You can have this much, but no more. A certain amount of muscle, money, status, etc. but don't go too far.
In fact, many people tend to view aggressive or power hungry tall men as more dominant. This happens especially in places where the NFL, NBA, UFC, WWE, etc. are popular, because they are obsessed with the whole "alpha male, king of the jungle" idea. Unfortunately, people simply don't believe short men are allowed to display traditionally masculine traits, or in this case, even human traits (because who doesn't get angry once in a while?). Often a short man actually has reason to be indignant. He's just not allowed to be.