Having power can make us feel taller

Powerful people often feel taller than they actually are, new research has found. Published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, the study showed those in such positions tend to overestimate their own height.

Investigators from Cornell University and Washington University claimed their findings were the first to show the opposite may be true to the generally accepted belief that taller people are more likely to acquire power and often earn more money.

Jack Goncalo of Cornell University said: "For people who are less powerful, maybe other people and objects loom larger and for the powerful everything else just seems smaller."

Mr Goncalo pointed out the association between height and power might result in individuals trying to raise their own eye level.

As such, this may be why women choose to wear high heels and workers long for offices on the top floor, he added.

Dr Howard Kahn, a member of the British Psychological Society, commented: "It seems that tall people get the top jobs - at least that's what a great deal of research has told us.

"With these jobs comes power. David Cameron is six feet tall and Barack Obama is six feet one inch tall, Richard Branson is five feet ten inches and Warren Buffett is the same height.

"Of course, there is a lot of evidence countering this belief - Napoleon was five feet five inches and Churchill five feet eight inches (average heights for their times), Nicolas Sarkozy is five feet five inches tall and the subject of many jokes about his height.

"So it's no wonder that some people try to make themselves seem taller by using stacked heels, dressing in a certain way, using colours, talking loudly, by using touch and by making eye contact.

"Maybe people with power perceive themselves as taller than they actually are, but we need more research on this. Anyway, don't we 'look up' to people with power?"