Study Claims Short Men Are More Likely to Be Psychopaths and Narcissists

Elle Silver
Photo byRobinson Avila

Researchers claim to have found a connection between shortness in men and Dark Triad personality traits. Dark Triad personality traits can be defined as narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism.

People with such personality traits exhibit antagonistic, entitled, and manipulative behaviors. According to this study, men who are short and wish to be taller are more likely to have these traits.

Truth in the Napoleon complex

Up until now, the idea of the “Napoleon complex” has been viewed as apocryphal. Bonaparte Napoleon was a 5 foot, 2 inch French leader who tried to take over all of Europe by force. The complex was coined in his honor, based on his behavior. It connotes an angry, little man who overcompensates for his sense of weakness based on his short height by being inordinately aggressive.

Yes, we may have all met short men who are quite pushy and antagonist. But does this mean all short men have serious personality flaws? The researchers behind this study believe they are more likely to.

And what with other research that suggests women prefer taller men as mates, short men may simply have more reason to assert dominance to get noticed. The researchers behind this study also argue that there is a considerable link between Dark Triad traits and the body.

Narcissism is tied to eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Machiavellianism is linked to body image insecurity.

The researchers believe they have a case, especially since it’s based on evidence.

An evolutionary need

The researchers even assert that there are evolutionary reasons for why short men are more likely to develop Dark Triad traits. Lead researcher, Monika Koslowska, from the University of Wrocław in Poland, said:

...when people cannot be physically formidable, they may then be psychologically formidable instead. Shorter men can demand respect, impose costs on others, acquire resources, and impress romantic partners by their traits. Appearing more powerful may in turn make other people perceive them as taller than they really are.

A separate study shows that college women rated men with Dark Triad traits as being significantly more attractive than men without them. In short (no pun intended), men with Dark Triad traits are simply more attractive to women.

This seems to prove the evolution hypothesis for why short men are more likely develop Dark Triad traits. These researchers may be on to something, after all.

What do you think? Do you believe that short men are more likely to have Dark Triad personality traits? Let me know your opinions in the comments.

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I write about dating, marriage, divorce, family, society, and the city I live in: Los Angeles.

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