Heard about this study that shows that if you see someone holding a gun, they appear to your mind to be larger than they actually are.
The study was funded by the Air Force and performed at UCLA, and it consisted of a series of tests in which study participants estimated the height of a man based on a photo of his hand holding a bunch of different objects, including a handgun. Participants also guessed at the object holder’s size and muscularity by picking one of a series of of six photos showing men with progressively more muscular bodies.
Participants judged the gun-holders, on average, to be 17 percent taller and stronger than those rated as the smallest and weakest men, which in this test ended up being those holding caulking guns. Hand models holding the saw and drill were judged as the second and third, respectively, in terms of size and strength.
Researchers think it’s related to self-preservation and has been a feature of human brains since we were hairy cave-dwellers; we think that for their next study they should run the same tests with the hand models holding a Coonan .357 Magnum Auto!