London, August 19 (ANI): An American study conducted by social psychologists at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, suggests that the country's presidents get taller when the going gets tough.
Lead researcher Terry Pettijohn looked at the heights, ages and facial attributes of the 11 elected US presidents over the past 75 years, and compared them with economic and social indicators such as unemployment and birth rates.
"What we're seeing is that taller candidates are preferred when times are more difficult," New Scientist magazine quoted Pettijohn as saying.
The researcher enumerates among lofty leaders Franklin Roosevelt, who steered the US through the Great Depression (188 centimetres), and Bill Clinton, who campaigned with the phrase "It's the economy, stupid" during the recession of the early 1990s (189 cm).
Pettijohn further highlights the fact that the relatively petite Harry Truman won two elections during the prosperous 1940s (175 cm).
According to him, hard times also make for presidents with larger chins and smaller eyes.
These findings make him believe that voters associate such features with strength and maturity, qualities that may be perceived to provide security in troubled times.
A presentation on the study was made last week at a meeting of the American Psychological Association in Toronto, Canada. (ANI)