When Tall People Congregate

As the saying goes, birds of the same feather, flock together. Mel Magazine writer Miles Klee noticed that some of her tall guy friends tend to hang out together and she wondered how such a phenomenon happens so she asked people on Twitter what their thoughts about it was. And several have noticed the same thing as well.

Surely, I thought, I wasn’t choosing my buddies based on their… measurements? Then again, homophily — the attraction to others with traits we share — is a powerful force. When you’re the same height as another person, you’re literally seeing eye-to-eye. And to the (troubling) degree that we link tallness and status, we may be subconsciously drawn, even platonically, to tall dudes.

Though there is no empirical study on the matter, most of the anecdotal evidence shared by other users on Twitter suggest that it's a big plus to have a tall guy in your group. And though people don't usually choose their friends based on their height, there seems to be a natural tendency for people to be part of a group with a normally distributed height range.

Not accounting for slight differences by race, the average American male stands about 5-foot-9, with a normal distribution on either side — plus or minus a few inches, in other words. So if you suddenly realize that you and your boys all fall between this range, it’s no great mystery, but a manifestation of averages.
Beyond the tall cabals, however, you have lopsided cliques: Sometimes an average-height group embraces a token tall guy, and sometimes an average-height guy has many taller friends.

(Image credit: MEL Magazine)


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