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Bald Men Are Perceived As More Attractive, Study Finds

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Bald Men Are Perceived As More Attractive, Study Finds

If you are a man who has recently looked in the mirror and noticed some tell tail signs of hair-loss you will be pleased to find that there is a simple solution to your problem; a shaved head.

According to a new study conducted by Albert E. Mannes at the University of Pennsylvania men with shaved heads are seen as 13% stronger, taller and having greater leadership potential than men who have either a full head or hair that is thinning.

Mannes conducted three experiments and found that “Men with shaved heads were rated as more dominant”. He also concluded that “Men whose hair was digitally removed were perceived as more dominant, taller, and stronger than their authentic selves.” Furthermore, he noted that “Men experiencing natural hair loss may improve their  interpersonal standing by shaving”.

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According to the American Hair Loss Association, two thirds of men will lose some hair by the age of 35 and by the age of 50, 85% will have experienced a significant hair loss. So it is likely that Mannes findings will be welcomed by many men.

Mannes conducted three studies as part of his research.

Study 1. Are men with shaved heads perceived as more dominant and authoritative?

In the first of these studies, 59 participants were shown 25 photos. Of these 24 photos 10 men had shaved heads. The remaining men had various hair styles of different lengths. The participants were asked to rate each photograph based on their perceived power, influence and authority of men with hair and men with shaved heads. The results found that men with shaved heads were seen as more dominant thatn similar men with full heads of hair.

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Study 2. Do men with digitally removed hair look more dominant, taller and stronger than their authentic selves?

In the second study 344 participants were shown photographs of four different men. The first photograph was of the man with his real hair and the second photograph was of the man where his hair has been digitally removed. The participants perceived the men with shaved heads as more dominant, an inch taller and  13% stronger.

The results from the first experiment may be explained by saying that men who chose to shave their heads were more dominant. However, the results of the second experiment can not be justified in this way as it was the same man who was shown with and without hair.

Study 3. Do non-photographic stimuli provide the same results?

In the final study participants were given written descriptions of men. No photographs were used. More than 500 adults rated their perception of a given man based purely on the information they gathered from the written descriptions. The descriptions were all the same except for the parts that described the hair. The man that was described as having a shaved head was rated highest in masculinity, dominance,  leadership potential and strength.

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Explanations for the effect

Mannes argues that the link between shaved heads and dominance comes from cultural associations (just as being tall and having a deep voice signal dominance).

As he states: “In US society … shaved heads are often found on men in traditionally masculine professions,” he writes, “so dominance may emerge through stereotypical associations with these figures.”

Mannes believes that men who take the initiative to voluntarily shave their heads give the impression of being bold and dominant. Instead of being self conscious about their condition these men take an active step to improve their image.

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The study also showed that men with thinning hairlines were considered to be less masculine then those who shaved their hair off. In this way men with shaved heads were seen as more honest than men who tried to hide their condition with toupees or comb overs.

“Instead of spending billions each year trying to reverse or cure their hair loss,” Mannes writes, “the counterintuitive prescription of this research to men experiencing male pattern baldness is to shave their heads.”

So there is new hope for men out their who are experiencing hair loss. The answer is simple; shave it off and you will improve your image in no time. For those of you who have already taken the bold move and have shaved their heads you will be pleased to know that your are sporting a more dominant and masculine image.

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More by this author

Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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