People Earn More Money and Respect
people may be short-changed when it comes to salary, status
and respect, according to a University of Florida study that
found tall people earn considerably more money throughout
matters for career success,” said Timothy Judge, a UF
management professor whose research was published in the Journal
of Applied Psychology. “These findings are troubling
in that, with a few exceptions such as professional basketball,
no one could argue that height is an essential ability required
for job performance nor a bona fide occupational qualification.”
Judge and Daniel Cable, a business professor at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, analyzed the results of
four large-scale research studies — three in the United
States and one in Great Britain — which followed thousands
of participants from childhood to adulthood, examining details
of their work and personal lives.
Judge’s study, which controlled for gender, weight and
age, found that mere inches cost thousands of dollars. Each
inch in height amounted to about $789 more a year in pay,
the study found. So someone who is 7 inches taller —
say 6 feet versus 5 feet 5 inches — would be expected
to earn $5,525 more annually, he said.
“If you take this over the course of a 30-year career
and compound it, we’re talking about literally hundreds
of thousands of dollars of earnings advantage that a tall
person enjoys,” Judge said.
The research showed that height was even more important than
gender in determining income, and its significance does not
decline as a person ages. The study found it was as predictive
of earnings when employees were in their 40s and had accumulated
some work experience as it was when they were in their 20s
and were just starting out, he said.
Height’s commanding influence may be a remnant of our
evolutionary origins, when humans lived among animals, which
use size as an index of power and strength when making “fight
or flight” decisions, he said.
“When humans evolved as a species and still lived in
the jungles or on the plain, they ascribed leader-like qualities
to tall people because they thought they would be better able
to protect them,” Judge said. “Although that was
thousands of years ago, evolutionary psychologists would argue
that some of those old patterns still operate in our perceptions
The average height of Americans today is 69.1 inches for men
and 63.7 inches for women.
Timothy Judge, email@example.com