Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Surprise: Researchers Find That Brandishing A Weapon Intimidates

April 13, 2012 by  

Surprise: Researchers Find That Brandishing A Weapon Intimidates
PHOTOS.COM
People are less willing to enter a conflict with an armed individual, say researchers.

Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles have confirmed the obvious in a recent study: Basic survival instincts make people more apt to perceive that individuals brandishing a weapon are a threat.

Anthropologists at the school conducted a study during which they showed hundreds of participants photos of nearly identical male hands holding a range of easily recognizable objects including handguns and knives before asking them to gauge the size and strength of the men.

In one part of the study, 628 individuals were asked to look at four pictures of different hands, each holding a single object: a caulking gun, electric drill, large saw or handgun.

“Tools were used as control objects to rule out the possibility that a simple link with traditionally masculine objects would explain intuitions that the weapon-holders were larger and stronger,” Daniel Fessler, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of anthropology at UCLA explained.

Participants were then asked to estimate the height of each hand model in feet and inches based solely on the photographs of their hands. They were shown six images of progressively taller men and six images of progressively more muscular men and asked to estimate which image came closest to the probable size and strength of the hand model.

The researchers say that 17 percent of the time, the pistol packer was estimated to be stronger and taller than those holding the other objects. A similar outcome was noted when a kitchen knife was shown in the photos.

“We’re exploring how people think about the relative likelihood that they will win a conflict, and then how those thoughts affect their decisions about whether to enter into conflict,” said Fessler.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Surprise: Researchers Find That Brandishing A Weapon Intimidates”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

  • Sirian

    To what end will this truly benefit anyone other than the researchers and their addiction to grant money? Another tidbit of “proof positive” info that the “gun control” crowd can fall back on. How conveniently planned. Give it time, this too will drift off into the mists of idiots. . .

    • Rick

      Please tell me that my tax dollars were not wasted on this crap. Anyone wh did not find the firearm more intimidating is either too stupid or has a death wish. I have no fear of guns but, I also do know that you not confront someone with one unless you are better armed and have some advantage.

  • cawmun cents

    I am surprised that they came to such a brilliant conclusion……it’s very hard for me to believe that gun toting,meat eating,beer drinking,women lovin’,God fearing men,could be seen as anything but weak in a society like Los Angeles.

    “Why carry a gun?”,”because a whole cop would be too heavy……”-Anonymous

    “This is my rifle,this is my gun…..my rifle is for killing,my gun is for fun….”-Stanley Kubrick

    “Are you gonna pull those pistols,or whistle Dixie?”-the outlaw Josie Wales

    On a sad note:

    Yesterday in Modesto California,some law enforcement officials were shot and killed while serving an eviction notice,
    First of all I pray for their families,and for those in the city of Modesto,who deal with crime in their streets and situations like these which occur when so much anger and frustration is present in society today.
    Heavenly Father,bless the city of Modesto and its citizens,help them to recover from this tragedy,strengthen them in ways they need strength,Heal them when they need healing,relieve their suffering and heartaches.Help them to build togetherness as a result of this happening,bless them that there be safety and love for their neighbor in the community.In Jesus’ name Amen,
    -CC.

    • Robert Smith

      cc, you got it wrong again. “This is My Rifle…” is part of a song by Mark Maysey

      http://www.folkusa.org/thisismyrifle.html

      But it’s been around much longer than that. I heard it the first time I was on the line in boot camp.

      Rob

      • texastwin827

        LOL Rob…I was about to say I think the phrase was common amongst Army Drill Sgt’s…at least as far back as the early 1960′s, if not earlier!

      • Opal the Gem

        rs… just because the saying is older than Stanley Kubrick use of it doesn’t mean cawmon didn’t hear/read it first from him.

    • eddie47d

      The conclusions are obvious whether you are a homeowner chasing off a home invader or a bank robber pointing a weapon at the teller. The same results occur through intimidation. Also works in divorce cases like that one in the news yesterday where a man killed his wife and daughter and wounded his other daughter at the Cracker Barrel. No one with a concealed weapon would have stopped him so put away your wishing and hoping. Guns can make the final solution a reality and the one with the weapon wins.

      • CZ52

        ” No one with a concealed weapon would have stopped him so put away your wishing and hoping.”

        Wrong eddie you are so wrong. I read an article about the shooting. The guy circled the resturant many times before he entered and did the shooting. The woman kinew he was a threat because she called the police and informed them of that. If she had been carrying she had plenty of time to prepare for him to come in and try to harm her and/or her daughters. If another customer had heard the conversation they would have also been aware of the situation and if carrying been prepared when the guy entered with his gun.

      • eddie47d

        Oh yes ! If that woman knew her husband was a threat she would have been long gone out the back door and how many times have you been in a restaurant and heard someone shout out that “my husband has a gun and is coming in to use it”. I don’t think even the police would have told her to sit tight and maybe would have told her to lock herself in the storage room. Besides if both had a gun bullets would have been flying everywhere and bullets don’t care which target they hit. (other customers). If you were in a restaurant with your wife and kids would you start a shootout with someone thus endangering your own kids? Maybe and maybe not.

      • http://gravatar.com/hattles JeffH

        CZ52, pay no mind to eddie. His opinion is much more factual than reality.

      • Rick

        Right again eddie, NOT! why would she walk out ri9ght towards him. SHe was hoping that being is a public place might keep h8im insecure enough to not act before police to arrive another case of when seconds counted the police were only minutes away.Now a woman and one daughter are dead and on daughter in the hospital. and then the rest of us have to feed house and clothes this waste of air for the rest of his life.

      • CZ52

        ” If that woman knew her husband was a threat she would have been long gone out the back door…”

        Yeah right eddie. She would just walk out the back right in front of his vehicle as he circled the building. Try reading the article instead of just the headline. The article clearly stated the husband was circling the building in his vehicle and she called the police because she was afraid of him and what he might do.

        We know you are a lier eddie just like your on line buddy flashy.

      • auhunter

        Reference your comment “would you start a shootout in a restaraunt….”. No I wouldn’t start it, but I sure would end it quick.

      • Vicki

        Eddie47d wishes and hopes we will not notice his proof by bald assertion by writing:

        No one with a concealed weapon would have stopped him so put away your wishing and hoping.

        Tell that to this young lady. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-oNMHNrS-8

  • Fred

    This is the stooopidest study I have ever seen! The size of someone’s hand has no bearing on whether the person feels they need to carry a handgun. The only thing that matters is the gray matter between their ears, and if the person that decides to carry a concealed weapon is properly trained and understands the full ramifications of what happens after they “break leather” and pull the trigger.

    Someone who has large hands may seem like they are large and fit, yet may actually be bound to a wheelchair. Such a person may have excellent upper body strength but would be unable to defend themself from an able-bodied attacker.

    Also, how many women out there would rather dispatch a rapist with a “double-tap” of their pistol trigger. landing two shots center mass; than become a beaten and violently penetrated victim? There are those who would argue that a rapist would simply take away the woman’s pistol and use it on her…this may be the case, but in many more situations, the woman manages to come out on top more than the perp – facts will back this every time. For those women who would rather not carry, let’s hope you can convince your rapist you have a screaming case of herpes, or cankor sores oozing and sex would not be a good idea…good luck with that!

    • Robert Smith

      Fred says: “The size of someone’s hand has no bearing on whether the person feels they need to carry a handgun. ”

      Most stereotypes and generalities have no basis in common sense. This proves just how real they can be, right or wrong.

      It explains how a teenager can be walking home with skittles and ice tea and be called a “punk” or whatever.

      Rob

      • http://www.mototcarsfinancial.com Brad

        Rob this says nothing but you have an obsession with tea drinking skittle eatin hooded teenaged punks

      • Fred

        Robert, what does tea and skittles have to do with anything regarding the article and the idiotic study conducted by UCLA? Nothing. Absolutely not a thing. Remain focused and don’t let the fact that the kid assaulted someone who was following him and ended up getting shot cloud your thoughts. It was a terrible thing that happened to him, but instead of asking why he was being followed…by all accounts…he punched the neighborhood watch guy and proceeded to continue pummelling him to the point the older person was in fear of his life and drew a pistol and shot his attacker. Was this incident worth this kid’s life? No.

        Should the kid have shown due respect instead of violently attacking an adult? Absolutely!

        Wrap your head around facts and don’t steep yourself in fiction about what a tragic lose it was…it was tragic, but it could have turned out completely different had the “kid” stated his business and not resorted to fisty-cuffs.

        Let’s not forget, Trayvon – on a previous occasion – WAS found to have burglary tools on him. Also, the place where this happened is not really what you might call a “gated community”…it’s a townhome community surrounded by a chain link fence where there has been a rash of burglaries and other crimes…Sanford, Florida has a high crime rate. That is why they have a neighborhood watch.

        There are neighborhood watches all over the country, it’s just that this particular neighborhood is rife with crime. Let’s not get all caught up in the spin put on this tragic event by the news media and racist black activists. George Zimmerman IS someone who is NOT racist…read more than what the New Black Panther Party puts out and you might learn the rest of the story.

        Granted, it doesn’t make it right, but it certainly puts it into perspective.

        Now, how does tea and skittles have anything to do with hand size and the tools being held? And, yes, a pistol is nothing more than a “tool”. A hammer or a screwdriver can be used as weapons, just as readily as they can be used as tools. It all depends on how the person holding it intends to use it…same for a pistol.

        Guns don’t kill people…people kill people!

      • marine72

        Rob: Thank you for your sarcastic assessment of the ultimate stupidity of the plentiful race pimps. Amazing how they gang-up on one of their own: Registered democrap from 2002 and self-identified Latino/Spanish Descent (since Florida, probably Cuban). NAACP has now morphed to NAABP or NAAWBP (…. White-Black People).

        I am guessing that the best of the potential black members of our society are flushed down the drain of the democrap institution UnPlanned Parenthood’s abortion disposal (or are the corpuses just left in jars on shelves in the backroom or in plastic bags as you would expect at animal control – on second thought, maybe UPP is viewed by democraps as animal control?). 2010 Census: Blacks= 12% of population. 38% of UPP abortions are black babies. Wonder why the race pimps aren’t up in arms about this statistic? Easy, they are on the payroll of the ‘Old’ white Men/Women overseers of the democrap Eugenics Plantation. Margaret Sanger is smiling on this scene from her hot persch in HELL!

    • http://teamlaw.org Jazzabelle

      That was the point of the study, Fred. Hands have nothing to do with the rest of a person’s physique. That’s how we know that people’s assumptions about the rest of the person’s physique are based on the object the hand was holding, not the hand itself.

      • Fred

        “Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles have confirmed the obvious in a recent study: Basic survival instincts make people more apt to perceive that individuals brandishing a weapon are a threat.”

        “The researchers say that 17 percent of the time, the pistol packer was estimated to be stronger and taller than those holding the other objects. A similar outcome was noted when a kitchen knife was shown in the photos.”

        Jazzabelle, it’s funny how less than 20% of the time pistol packers were estimated to be stronger and taller than those holding other objects, yet from this the “researchers” made the leap that people were more apt to perceive individuals brandishing a weapon are a threat.

        If someone means to do me harm and is coming at me with a hammer or a screwdriver (baseball bat, knife, club, length of pipe, or whatever), and I did not call someone to fix something around my house, granted, it doesn’t matter what size their hands are, I’m going to blow him/her away if they do not stop and state their business on command.

        Perhaps we are in agreement…

        People’s hand size doesn’t matter, but the “researchers” didn’t really identify what was meant by “weapon”. Any tool, or implement can be used as a weapon. Things commonly thought of as weapons are actually tools. The difference is all in how the person holding it intends to use it…the use can either be for good, or evil. It all depends on how the person holding it is going to use it, regardless of their hand size. The most dangerous weapon is not what can be held in someone’s hands, it is between their ears.

      • Buster the Anatolian

        “…didn’t really identify what was meant by “weapon”.”

        Yes they did Fred. They said they used a knife and a handgun as their weapon and used common hand tools as their non weapons.

      • http://teamlaw.org Jazzabelle

        Fred, you’re right, they didn’t do a good job distinguishing “typical” weapons from “potential” weapons. The real result of the study was to show that people are intimidated by the handgun and knife (in the same way they are intimidated by tall, strong men) than the other objects, which probably says more about our culture’s fear of guns and knives (and tall, strong men) than anything about the actual destructive capacity of any of those objects. In other words, the study was about people’s perceptions of reality, not about reality itself.

        The study does make a big assumption, though. It assumes that people find tall, strong men intimidating, and that’s why they associate the taller, stronger men with the guns and knives. This could be true, but logically, the more physically intimidating a person is, the LESS he needs to carry a weapon for purposes of intimidation–right? Also, the responses could point to cultural assumptions about the type of man who is most likely to carry a gun or knife, independent of how “intimidating” they look.

        Buster, yes, they CLAIMED they used a gun and knife as “weapons” and the other things as “non-weapons.” But these are arbitrary categories, and they wouldn’t have explained those categories to the study participants, so Fred’s objection is valid.

      • CZ52

        “Buster, yes, they CLAIMED they used a gun and knife as “weapons” and the other things as “non-weapons.” But these are arbitrary categories, and they wouldn’t have explained those categories to the study participants, so Fred’s objection is valid.”

        No, his objection is NOT valid. When you start down the slippery slope of defining what may be used for a weapon you have to include probably 75% of the items in our lives and perhaps as much as 95%. Almost anything can be a weapon in the right circumstances even a sack of fertilizer (and I mean the sack of fertilizer itself not using it to make a bomb). My computer could be a weapon if that was all I had to use to defend myself or if I wanted to hit someone in the head with it in an attack. My coffee cup would make an excellent close range weapon. And on and on and on.

      • Vicki

        CZ52 says:

        his objection is NOT valid. When you start down the slippery slope of defining what may be used for a weapon you have to include probably 75% of the items in our lives and perhaps as much as 95%.

        99.999999% Sitting here quietly at my keyboard typing I have over 200 tools I could use to defend myself or others. I am the weapon. All else is but tools.

        Some tools are more effective than others. Firearms are some of the MOST effective tools out there for self defense. Nuclear bombs, not so much. (that’s for the liberal straw men out there).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000915471026 Greggory Lewis

    Where do you apply for those grants? I want to do a study to confirm that teenage pregnancy drops off dramaticaly after age 21! Think I could get funding for that? {and yes, I know, age 20……]

    • Jon

      If you promised that any teenagers over the age of 21 would support abortion, Planned Parenthood might help you out.

  • dan

    another good control would have been female hands holding tools…dang, their goes
    my train of thought :)

    • Buster the Anatolian

      dan that is a good idea. They should have included female hands in the study and at least two different sized handguns such as a Ruger 380 and a Colt 1911. That would have given much more valid results.

  • texastwin827

    Well obviously these folks don’t realize that women can be “intimidating” if carrying a gun! I’ve got a 5’2″ 29 yr old daughter who not only has a Concealed Weapon License good in 26 states…she can also hit anyone she aims at!

    These Californians wouldn’t do well here in Texas…Texas women shoot their own rattlesnakes!

    • Sirian

      Great! Glad your daughter is packing. . . :) Imagine, if all women were armed how much you wanna bet the number of “rape” cases would drop tremendously. Now if that wouldn’t fully liberate women, what would? :)

    • cawmun cents

      Never shot a rattlesnake….always killed em’ with a stick,or a rock.
      We have them down by the river here…..cant go anywhere down there without runnin’ inta one.Occaisionally they crawl up in the yard,but thats when we deploy the stick/rock.
      Guns are more for big game like home invaders,or carjackers.Perhaps the annoying pit bull down the street that likes to escape his pen and terrorize folks.
      But never do we waste good bullets on rattlesnakes.
      -CC.

      • Rick

        consider it target practice at a moving target.So it’s not a waste it is useful.

      • cawmun cents

        I do not define a small slithering cold blooded animal wagging its tail at me as a moving target,I define them as Democrats.
        -CC.

  • http://www.mototcarsfinancial.com Brad

    well bless her heart, please send her on over to cali where there are plenty of snakes, flakes, fruits and nuts

  • marine72

    And how many “Stimulus Dollars” did this lunacy cost the people? We all know that academic research only occurs with a deep pockets benefactor – “We the Unwilling People”. Stupid is as Stupid Does.

  • ranger hall

    Simple Fact The size of a person incresses with the size of the weapon. Just ask most Policemen.
    People when carrying weapons always feel bigger and stronger, That works with the Baddies and it also works for the Good People, When the Baddies have a weapon they become bigger and stronger and they see you as small and weak when you have no weapon.
    Simple fact if you have a weapon or could have, you are less likely to be bothered Then again you have to consider the Odds 5-1, 10-1.or even more. Then it depends on what kind of Weapons power you have. No real set rules, just have the right amount depending the type of areas you work in or live in, Or next to.

  • JimH

    Probably a stern or angry look on your face would be intimadating. More than a big welcoming smile. Having a rottwieler or pitbull(weapons or pets?) with you may intimidate some.
    Intimidation can be a good deterent to people who otherwise may do violent things.

    Doh! I let that out without getting any grant money.
    We can do a study to see if having a big mouth can lose out on grant money by stating the obvious for free.

  • TML

    I agree with the results… this little woman would be intimidating to a 6’3” linebacker …

    http://www.presidentmayhem.com/videos/woman-with-gun.jpg

  • Donald York

    How much taxpayer money was spent on a research of the obvious. These liberal fools will spend money on this kind of research is like Forrest Gump would have said “stupid is as stupid does. Haha.

  • http://gravatar.com/hattles JeffH

    DUH! Sorry, that’s all this study deserves.

  • http://none Claire

    All I can add is ” No sh–, Sherlock.” So much for this research.

  • Pingback: your armoire furniture black bedroom

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.