Foes appear larger, more muscular when holding a weapon (4/15/2012)
Holding a weapon makes men look taller and more muscular, according to a report published Apr. 11 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
The researchers, led by Daniel Fessler at University of California Los Angeles, conducted a number of online surveys to determine that men holding a gun or a large kitchen knife were viewed as larger and more muscular than men holding non-threatening objects. This pattern cannot be explained by any actual correlation between gun ownership and physical size.
"For nearly all vertebrates, size matters -- bigger animals win fights with smaller animals. Human psychology reflects this, as people use size as a way of conceptualizing how dangerous another person might be", says Dr. Fessler.Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by the Public Library of Science