January 20, 2010

Blondes Have More Fun? They’d Better Or They’ll Kick Your Ass

News, Research 2 Comments

Good morning! How about a little pseudo-science to kick off the day?

A study by the University of California, Santa Barbara is suggesting that blondes are more “warlike” than brunettes and redheads. The researchers, led by Aaron Sell, speculate that this aggression comes from a lifetime of attracting more attention than women with darker hair color. They’re calling this “the princess effect.”

And it’s not just limited to natural blondes–box blondes and attractive women are equally vulnerable to the princess effect.

“We expected blondes to feel more entitled than other young women — this is southern California, the natural habitat of the privileged blonde,” said Sell, who led the study which has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. “What we did not expect to find was how much more warlike they are than their peers on campus.”

The research indicates that the more special people feel, the more likely they are to get angry to reach their goals.

“Blondes are more confident in their abilities, although the results do not necessarily support their confidence,” said Catherine Salmon, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Redlands, California. “Maybe responding to their own stereotypes, brunettes tend to work harder and expect less special treatment. Women who go blonde quickly get used to the privileges of blondeness — usually male attentiveness.”

The study, which examined the link between confidence and aggression, involved a small (and questionable) sample of 156 female undergrads. I put stock in Survival of the Prettiest, but this needs more development.

I was blonde once in my life (triple-process, which took some six hours) and I’m trying to remember if I got my way more than usual. I can’t really remember. I usually always do. The roots were a bitch, though. Every thirteen days. Like clockwork. Now that makes me warlike just to think about.

Image from Anne Bowerman. Information from the BBC, TimesOnline, via Guy Kawasaki.

AV Flox

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  • Aaron Sell

    I’m afraid you, and thousands of others for that matter, have been badly misinformed. I have never done any research that shows blondes are more aggressive, entitled, angry or “warlike” than brunette or redheads. This error was the result of a piece in the London Sunday Times.

    If you’d like to see my actual research, which shows that attractive women are more prone to anger, feel more entitled, and believe they win more conflicts of interest then you can see the actual article and the press release here: http://www.psych.ucsb.edu/research/cep/topics/anger.htm

    Note that the words “blonde” or even “hair” never appear there.

    The writer Ryan Sager has reported accurately on the story here:

    http://trueslant.com/ryansager/2010/01/18/science-reporting-gone-wild/

    Aaron Sell, PhD
    Center for Evolutionary Psychology
    University of California, Santa Barbara
    sell@psych.ucsb.edu

  • Anaiis

    I appreciate the correction, Dr. Sell. I will go over the data myself and post an update on this story immediately. I apologize for the proliferation of misinformation, however inadvertent, and thank you for taking the time to inform us.

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