You’re Not Tall Enough To Be Successful (and Other Unfortunate Biases)

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Humans are a peculiar species. We have elevated cognitive abilities, we use speech to communicate abstract ideas and at the same time our animalistic instincts manipulate us like their little b*tch without us even knowing about it. We try to cognitively deter ourselves from biases that are based on physical appearance but unavoidably and unconsciously we abide by them. Here are a few unfortunate biases that actually influence success.

The 6 foot effect

What if I told you every inch shorter you are, that’s a thousand dollars off your salary. You’d be pretty pissed, huh short-stuff? Well, don’t shoot the messenger, it’s Harvard University that says it. Just so I can bend over (because you’re short!) and rub salt in the wound, their research shows that a 6 foot male makes $5.525 more annually than his 5 foot 5 inch counterpart. If you are a woman and you are three inches taller than the average you can add an extra 5% to 8%. Just make sure to invest in platform shoes so your raise will pay dividends.

The ‘Blondes have more fun and more money’ effect

The University of Queensland found that being a platinum blonde bombshell can bring home the bacon. Why would you want bacon though since you’ll be getting paid 7% more, Blondie? Just go buy some. Also not only do Blondes have more fun and make more money, their husbands earn 6% more than non-blondes. Excuse me; I have to the corner store to buy some hair dye.

The good looking effect

Ok I’m back and for some reason everyone is calling me M&M. Attractiveness is a cross that a small part of the population has to bear. Because with great physique comes great responsibility. Attractive people are much more likely to be considered trustworthy and the feeling of trust increases in correlation with attractiveness. Looking like a humpless Quasimodo could potentially cost you a 9% loss of salary. This is a double edged sword though, because if you’re too attractive and female it could cost you a job in upper management. Very attractive women were perceived as incompetent.

Plastic surgery for career advancement

If you look good, you’ll feel good and you will be confident. I sh*t you not it’s that simple.

The sit up straight effect

No, I am not channeling you mother, but posture is also a determining factor in career progress. Power poses are subtle body language signs that exude confidents. These poses are feet up on the desk, chest puffed out and leaning forward. These postures actually have a physiological response, producing testosterone and decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.

[Sigh] It’s still a popularity contest effect

If you were a popular kid in high school then you can expect to make 10% more in your future. More likely to be a corporate lackey but your low GPA and high friend count might help you make a little bit more than the weird kid in school that created something stupid called Facebook or whatever.

Are there other factors that you have noticed that influence your decisions or recruitment tactics? Then let us know in the comment section below.