Vanity might not be the only reason ambitiousyoung males obsess about their physique. They maybe taking a calculated step towards leadership.
A recent study suggests that people equate physical strength in men with higher status andleadership qualities. Researchers showed participants photographs of young men and womendressed in undershirts to show off their shoulder, chest and arm muscles.
Participants were told that the people were recruits at a consulting firm. They were asked torate how much they admired them, held them in esteem and believed they would rise instatus. “Do you think this person is a good leader?” was one of the questions.
In an academic version of the children’s game Tops and Tails, the researchers Photoshoppedthe images, switching the bodies and heads and manipulating heights, to take account of thepossibility that results could be skewed by how tall or attractive the subjects were.Participants consistently rated stronger men more highly for status and leadership qualities.When the pictures were of women, it made little difference whether the subjects were strongeror weaker.
在这个儿童游戏“头和尾”(Tops and Tails)的学术版本里，研究人员使用Photoshop处理图片，调换身体和头部，调整身高，以降低结果受到评判对象身高和外形吸引力影响的可能性。在地位和领导品质方面，参与者一致给更强壮的男性打了更高的分。当参与者看到的是女性的照片时，强壮或瘦弱与否对结果没有多大影响。
The research, soon to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, seemsto endorse Vladimir Putin’s habit of flaunting his physique or Donald Trump’s publication of hisdoctor’s opinion of his “extraordinary” physical strength. It also adds to a rich vein of work onthe physical characteristics of business executives.
这项很快将发表在《人格与社会心理学期刊》(Journal of Personality and Social Psychology)上的研究似乎支持了弗拉基米尔•普京(Vladimir Putin)炫耀自己体格的习惯，以及唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)公布医生对其身体素质“特别出色”的评价的做法。这还增加了有关企业高管外形特征的论述，这些论述已经十分丰富。
A 2004 paper, for instance, looked at research on height and found that tall individuals have anadvantage in their careers, with six-footers earning almost $166,000 more over 30 years thansomeone standing only 5 feet 5 inches. Warwick Business School research last year indicatedthat men who rise highest in business, the military and sport share common facial features.
比如，一份2004年的论文研究了身高，发现高个子在事业上拥有优势，在30年的时间里，身高6英尺的人会比身高仅5英尺5英寸的人多挣近16.6万美元。华威商学院(Warwick Business School)去年的研究表明，在商界、军队和运动领域地位升到最高的男性拥有共同的面部特征。
Other researchers have noted a link between upper-body strength and status in indigenousBolivian people, but, happily, we do not get to see many chief executives undressed, so it ishard to assess whether the same applies in the boardroom.
Those executives who admit to a serious workout regime, or who projected a public image ofphysical strength, have a mixed record. Carsten Kengeter, a broad-shouldered extreme skierwho “likes nothing better than a weekend of marathon running in the Mont Blanc massif”, looksset to take his leadership of Deutsche Börse through the pain barrier with a merger with theLondon Stock Exchange. Gavin Patterson’s leonine appearance — regularly referenced byreporters — has not hindered his rise to the top of BT, the UK telecoms group.
那些坦言自己严格执行锻炼计划，或者营造身体强壮的公众形象的高管们的命运好坏参半。宽肩膀的极限滑雪者、德意志交易所(Deutsche Börse)首席执行官卡斯滕•肯格特(Carsten Kengeter)自称“最喜欢在勃朗峰(Mont Blanc)跑马拉松来度过周末”，看起来将熬过德交所与伦敦证交所(London Stock Exchange)合并的“痛障”，保持自己的领导地位。加文•帕特森(Gavin Patterson)常被记者提及的狮子般的外形并没有阻碍他升至英国电信(BT)的最高职位。
On the other hand, in 2012, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg — then 87 — boasted to the FinancialTimes of his weightlifting prowess. It is doubtful if this would have saved AIG, the insurer heused to run, from bailout.
另一方面，2012年，时年87岁的莫里斯•“汉克”•格林伯格(Maurice “Hank” Greenberg)向英国《金融时报》的记者夸耀了他在举重方面的造诣。很难相信这能将他过去执掌的保险集团美国国际集团(AIG)从纾困中拯救出来。
Thor Björgolfsson wears “sculpted suits” and works out regularly, according to a recent profile“because it teaches self-discipline and pushes one to the limit”. Fellow investors inLandsbanki, the collapsed Icelandic bank where he was the major shareholder, might havehoped for more self-discipline sooner in his career.
The paper is called “The role of physical formidability in human social status allocation”, a titlethat risks having sand kicked in its face by more muscular headlines.
Aaron Lukaszewski of Oklahoma State University, who carried out the study with co-authorsfrom University of California Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and University of Portland, has a wordof caution for any leader tempted to throw his weight around. “Self-interested aggressivenessdecreased men’s projected status,” he says.
俄克拉荷马州立大学(Oklahoma State University)的阿龙•卢卡谢夫斯基(Aaron Lukaszewski)与来自加州大学伯克利分校(University of California Berkeley)、加州大学圣塔芭芭拉分校(UC Santa Barbara)及波特兰大学(University of Portland)的合著者进行了这项研究，他对那些忍不住炫耀自身强壮的领导者有一句警告。“出于自利目的的咄咄逼人会降低男性展现出来的地位，”他说。
Mr Putin and Mr Trump, take note.