Does Feeling Smaller Make People Feel Paranoid And Mistrustful?

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(Telegraph) Short man syndrome really does exist, Oxford University finds

By , Science Correspondent 7:00AM GMT 29 Jan 2014

Feeling smaller makes people feel paranoid, mistrustful and more likely to think that people are staring or talking about them, a study by Oxford University finds

Short man syndrome really does exist, Oxford University academics have found, after a study showed feeling smaller makes people paranoid, distrustful and scared of others.

Scientists used virtual reality technology to reduce the height of volunteers travelling on a computer-simulated Tube train by 10in (25cm).

The experience of being shorter increased reports of negative feelings, such as being incompetent, dislikeable or inferior.

It also heightened levels of mistrust, fear and paranoia. Height-reduced participants were more likely to think someone else in the virtual train carriage was deliberately staring, thinking badly about them, or trying to cause distress.

Researchers believe the findings demonstrate the psychologically detrimental effect of experiencing social situations from a position closer to the ground.

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