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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 01:24 GMT 02:24 UK
Short men 'not more aggressive'
Dennis Wise and Ed de Goey
Dennis Wise's aggressive playing style made up for his lack of inches
The theory that short men end up as more aggressive than taller ones has been dismissed by a scientific study.

The University of Central Lancashire research for the BBC found taller men were more likely to lose their temper.

Men of different heights duelled with wooden sticks but one of the subjects deliberately provoked the other by rapping them across the knuckles.

Heart monitors revealed it was the taller men who flew off the handle more quickly and hit back.

Chopstick Game

The research was designed to test Short Man Syndrome - or "Napoleon complex" - the theory that shorter men are more aggressive to dominate those who are taller than them.

The results were consistent with the view that Small Man Syndrome is a myth
Dr Mike Eslea

The experiment - called the Chopstick Game - involved 10 men of average height and the same number below 5ft 5ins.

The subject who did the provoking had been briefed to do so by the scientists.

The other men were under the impression they were being tested for physical attributes, reaction times and eye-hand co-ordination.

Obvious attribute

Dr Mike Eslea said the study suggested it made no more sense to say diminutive footballer Dennis Wise was aggressive on the pitch because he was small, than it was to say Robbie Savage was likewise because he was blond.

Dr Eslea said: "The results were consistent with the view that Small Man Syndrome is a myth.

"When people see a short man being aggressive, they are likely to think it is due to his size simply because that attribute is obvious and grabs their attention."

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