Napoleon Isn’t Going To Like This – Short Man Syndrome Is Real
Ever hear of the expression - Napoleon complex? Wikipedia defines it as "overly-aggressive or domineering social behavior, and carries the implication that such behavior is compensatory for the subject's stature. The term is also used more generally to describe people who are driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives. In psychology, the Napoleon complex is regarded as a derogatory social stereotype."
Most of us know somebody of shorter stature who seems at times to try too hard, right?
You may also know it as little man's syndrome and it is supposedly named for French Emperor Napoleon who its said compensated for his lack of height by seeking power, war, and conquest. Here's the deal though -- at the time of his death he was measured at 5 feet 7 inches which was average the time.
So if Napoleon wasn't a shorty, what about the whole Napoleonic Syndrome thing? Is that for real?
Dutch researchers ran an experiment - they split a group of men into pairs and allowed them to meet their opponents in a money sharing game researchers called the Dictator Game. The game is used to assess how fairly individuals treat others. They found that shorter men responded more aggressively when competing in the game, as long as there were no repercussions.
Lead researcher Jill Knapen says, "It's probably smart for short men to be like this because they have [fewer] opportunities to get resources."
The shortest men in the study, around 5-foot-seven inches, (like Napoleon) were most aggressive, while the tallest men in the study at six-foot-two inches, were least aggressive.
Conclusion? The Napoleon Complex is real-- science says so. (not definitive - as other studies have sown conflicting results - more study to be done...so shorty, stand up and get back in line! Oh wait...you ARE standing....)