Science

According To Research, Shorter Height Can Lead To Paranoid Thoughts

Let's start this article with a question.

Have you ever lied about your height?

It's certainly not an uncommon thing to do. Your overall size compared to other people and your surroundings is an important factor in how you see yourself and the world around you. And let's face it, being tall has its social advantages. But what does the science have to say about height and its more subtle impacts?

According to research conducted in 2014, an individual's height may directly impact feelings of security and paranoia. Researches Daniel Freeman, Nicole Evans, Rachel Lister, Angus Antley, Mel Slater, and Graham Dunn asked volunteers to participate in a virtual reality study in which they took a virtual journey through public transit at their normal height. The participants relayed their overall feelings.

The second time, they took the same public transit route, but the virtual reality simulator made them approximately one head shorter than their normal height. Although riding on a subway is hardly a complicated task, the participants related significantly different feelings when their height was altered to make them shorter.

The participants reported feeling more anxious, weak, inferior, and incompetent once their stature was lowered. But the participants weren't told that their height had been lowered and they actually didn't immediately notice feeling smaller than before. One participant felt that other virtual passengers were being hostile toward them when they were shorter, but not taller, even though the virtual passenger did not behave any differently.

The purpose of this study isn't to point to short people and accuse them of being paranoid and jumpy, but to rather study how we combat paranoia. The researchers believe that paranoia may be stemmed in self image and feelings of being inferior and small.

"From this it follows that by helping someone to feel more positively about themselves we may be able to reduce their susceptibility to paranoid thoughts," Daniel and Jason Freeman wrote in an article published in The Guardian.

"Virtual reality could be an asset here: if simulating a decrease in height lowers self-esteem, then the opposite may be true too. By allowing people with problematic paranoia to feel taller in VR social situations, we may be able to boost their confidence in the real world."

Editor's note:

Previously, we ran this article with some stretched and false information. It was titled "New research says short people are angrier and more violent than tall people." To begin with, the study wasn't new. It's a 5 year old piece of research. Calling it new research was not exactly truthful.

In addition to that, we confused the results of this study with another one and suggested that shorter people were more violent and angry by nature. Neither study concluded this fact, and we were wrong to report it this way. We misunderstood the text of the studies and reported the information in an incorrect way and apologize for doing so.

So in summary, the previous text was made up of: two old pieces of research, one not about height, and one not about violence.

We want to thank Maarten Schenk from Leadstories for pointing out our mistake. We would not have been able to make this well-needed change without his thorough review.

We also want to apologize to everyone who felt insulted by our previous article and we want to assure you we did not intend to do that. Even more, our editor is a relatively short person and he is the loveliest guy you could work or hang out with.

Thank you to all our incredible supporters who continue to read and enjoy the trusted content we create here on Higher Perspectives.

Science

Researchers Have Found That Drinking Wine in Moderation Could Improve Longevity

A study of senior citizens found a correlation between drinking alcohol in moderation and increased longevity

According to one study published in 2007 on aging and dementia, drinking alcohol and coffee in moderation may help you live longer than those who do not.

The 90+ Study, conducted by Dr. Claudia Kawas at the University of California-Irvine, studied nearly 14,000 men and women over the age of 70 beginning in the 1980s.

These participants were followed for 23 years total, taking follow-up questionnaires about alcohol consumption in 1992 and 1998.

By the time the study had ended in 2004, 11,386 of the participants had passed away. Both male and female study participants who consumed alcohol experienced decreased mortality compared to those who identified as non-drinkers.

Individuals who drank moderate amounts of alcohol every day saw a 15% decrease in mortality over those who did not drink.

Additionally, those who began drinking partway through the study experienced a reduced mortality rate, while those who quit drinking were found to be more likely to die than those who did not.

The study concluded that, among elderly men and women, consuming moderate amounts of alcohol can increase your overall lifespan. However, it was recommended that those who needed to quit drinking for health reasons not delay doing so because of the potential for increased longevity.

So how much wine should we be drinking to live longer? According to a massive study led by researchers from Harvard, not all that much. Their research suggests that one or two drinks a day can be beneficial, but exceeding that may not be.

Excessive alcohol consumption rates resulted in more hospitalizations and a higher risk of diseases like cancer. People who drank heavily and also smoked experienced the worst health results.

Editor's note:

Previously, we published a story named "New Research Says Drinking Wine Is More Important Than Exercise For Living Past 90" that suggested that, per this study's results, you could forgo exercise in favor of drinking wine and expect to live beyond 90 years old. This was not an accurate description of the study in question.

Leadstories and Politifact correctly flagged this as incorrect. We are thankful to Aaron Sharockman, Maarten Schenk and Miriam Valverde (as well to her editor, Angie Drobnic Holan) for pointing out our mistake, so we can fix it properly.

The 90+ Study, as it's called, studied participants who were already over the age of 70 and simply found that those who drank moderate amounts of wine had a tendency to live longer than those who did not.

Medical experts and researchers alike generally agree that exercise is a key component to living a long, happy, and healthy life. The 90+ Study just gives you permission to have a glass or two of wine once in a while.

We apologize for misinforming our amazing readers and thank you for understanding this mistake!