Huffpost Science

Male Bicep Size Predicts Opinion On Welfare Programs, Study Suggests

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Can you tell a man's political leanings just by looking at him?

Maybe not, but new research suggests that the size of a man's bicep may reveal a lot about his position on issues like welfare.

After asking more than 1,000 people in three different countries how much they supported the redistribution of wealth, psychologists from the University of California Santa Barbara and Denmark's Aarhus University found that among wealthy men with large biceps, the answer was "not much."

By contrast, they found that wealthy men with smaller biceps were often more in favor of such welfare-type programs that aid the poor.

Still, it's important to note the study also found poorer men with buff arms were more likely to support wealth redistribution policies than their weaker-armed peers.

With that in mind, perhaps the study's takeaway is that men with bigger biceps are simply more likely to believe in policies that benefit them.

Or maybe the takeaway is that, despite the convoluted arguments of pundits and politicians who debate the complexities of welfare, what men believe is really just based on how easily they could win a fight over a bunch of fallen coconuts.

After all, study co-author Dr. Daniel Sznycer, a researcher at UC Santa Barbara's Center for Evolutionary Psychology, said the findings suggest the human mind is still wired for small-scale, hunter-gatherer societies.

"In short, beneath our modern skulls lies a brain designed for ancestral challenges," Sznycer wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.

The fact that the surveys had the same results in Argentina, Denmark and the United States shows this may be a universal phenomenon, rather than a cultural tendency, Sznycer told HuffPost.

The study was published in the journal Psychological Science on May 13.

(h/t Daily Mail)

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