COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 16 (UPI) — On the political scale, the tall tip to the right. According to new research, the taller a person is, the more likely the person is to support conservative political positions.
Researchers in the United States and Britain analyzed data from the 2006 British Household Panel Survey, which asked 9,700 adult participants questions about their height, income and political persuasion.
For every inch taller a survey respondent was, the chances of the respondent supporting the Conservative Party increased by 0.6 percent. Taller people were also more likely to vote for Conservative Party candidates and support conservative political positions.
For some, the results weren’t all that surprising. Previous studies have shown taller people earn higher salaries, and a number of studies have found correlations between income and voting patterns.
But some scientists have suggested links between income and politics are overstated, and several studies have produced contradictory evidence.
“We were thinking about why there were so many seemingly contradictory findings,” Sara Watson, an assistant professor of political science at The Ohio State University, said in a news release.
“One reason might be that income fluctuates from year to year, so that a relationship between your overall economic well-being and your political beliefs can be hard to uncover,” Watson continued. “That’s why we decided to see if height might be a good way to assess the link between income and voting.”
Watson is the co-author of a study on the latest survey analysis, published this week in the British Journal of Political Science.
Unlike income, height doesn’t normally fluctuate from year to year. The fact that they survey tracked households over a period of several years also helped stabilized data set.
Because the research connecting height and income is solid, the findings confirm previous links between income and political leanings.
“Height is useful in this context because it predicts income well,” Watson explained. “Because we only expect height to affect political behavior through income, we can use it to investigate the effect of income on voting.”