Friday, January 18, 2013
The Association for Psychological Science will hold its annual convention this May in Washington, DC. A promotional program is included in the group’s current newsletter. As I leafed through it, something struck me about the photos of the invited speakers: a lot of the men have facial hair. So I did what any research psychologist would do—I analyzed the data.
Of the 59 male speakers pictured, 25 have beards, goatees, or moustaches. That’s 42.4% of them.
This strikes me as high. Perhaps it reflects a selection bias: after all, these are the alpha males of academic psychology. [Isn’t “alpha male psychologist” a contradiction in terms?—Ed.]
I wonder if there is department to department variation in academic facial hair. For some reason, I’d expect even more beards in the English department. How could anyone study Chaucer or the Metaphysical Poets and be clean shaven?