Friday, April 1, 2011
After posting the figure on height and satisfaction with life, I started wondering if the model (a cubic polynomial) might be hiding some other differences between men and women. The figure above gives average satisfaction by height (e. g. averages for people who said that were 65, 66, 67... inches tall), smoothed in order to reduce the effect of sampling variation. It confirms that satisfaction drops for the very tallest people, for both men and women. The people who are happiest, on the average, are tall but not exceptionally tall.
But it also shows something that's hard to see in the polynomial estimates: for women, there is a substantial range, from about 65 to 75 inches, in which height makes very little difference. That is, short women are less satisfied with their lives, but there's little difference between women who are just a little taller than average and those who are a lot taller than average. For men, there's a clearer peak at about 74 inches--that is, men who are tall are more satisfied than men who are pretty tall, who are more satisfied than men of average height.