Friday, January 18, 2013

Freud Envy?

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?


Anonymous said...

Good observation. Perhaps you can find if there's a difference in facial hair for academic men depending upon whether their Dept. title ends in "Studies."

TheCellularScale said...

More importantly, are you going to this conference?

Avery Gilbert said...


Not on a bet. Being in the same room with a hundred psychologists gives me the willies.

I will go to the AChemS meeting this year, after missing a couple.