Thursday, 25 February 2010

A feline subject reacts to a photograph of a man with a full dark semicircular beard.


Cats were exposed to photographs of bearded men. The beards were of various sizes, shapes, and styles. The cats' responses were recorded and analyzed.


Cats do not like men with long beards, especially long dark beards.
Cats are indifferent to men with shorter beards.
Cats are confused and/or disturbed by men with beards that are incomplete (e.g., Bork) and to a lesser degree by men whose beards have missing parts (e.g., Crafts).

These interpretations are not categorical. They are subject to several obvious qualifications. The most notable are listed below.

Qualification A. This study excluded photographs of men with beards confined largely to the underside of the jaw (see above discussion of Robert Bork). While data are available from studies conducted by other investigators, those studies made use of a different methodology than the one we used in our study. We are therefore hesitant to interpret our findings in light of the "Bork" findings, or vice versa.

Qualification B. This study was conducted with photographs of bearded men. In a future study we intend to investigate feline responses to animate bearded men. A large number of factors might produce significantly different results in the two studies. In particular, there has been speculation that bearded men produce pheromones which could have a significant effect on cats.[3]

by Catherine Maloney, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut, Sarah J. Lichtblau, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois Nadya Karpook, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida Carolyn Chou, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Anthony Arena-DeRosa, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


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