University of New Mexico professor Geoffrey Miller is a social/evolutionary psychologist so it's no surprise he is clueless about people - like what it takes to have the willpower to get a Ph.D, beyond his own subjective opinion. And it's even less of a surprise he made an unscientific conjecture. He may have been surprised anyone noticed. If social and evolutionary psychologists aren't finding racism in office clutter or in eating meat or telling us we evolved to like a car grill they don't get much attention. Unless it matches a confirmation bias, no one believes that surveys of psychology undergraduates are meaningful, much less scientific, after all.
When he Tweeted that an obese person wouldn't have the willpower to finish a doctoral program, even the wagon-circling world of psychology turned on him. That had to be a surprise too.
Miller knows that there are almost no standards for what counts as research so he can say anything to justify his social media crackpottery and his department has no way to know if it's real. The University of New Mexico dutifully noted that he told them his Tweet was part of an experiment and he has been doing it for months. He isn't being an asshole, he is a social scientist. He is on leave while being a visiting scholar at NYU. Sorry, UNM, if you were looking to offload his tenure job on someone else, that will be difficult now.
Psychology is 70% women so maybe he is just saying what everyone in the field thinks - it's better to have hot women to look at than non-hot. It's hard to be sure what the truth is, he deleted the Tweet and made his account private so I bet he won't respond to me or anyone else until he has thought up some clever way to not look like an even bigger jerk.
If only all evolutionary and/or social psychologists (Miller calls himself both, meaning twice as many opportunities to ridicule him) would stay so hush-hush.
UNM Psychology Chair Jane Ellen Smith, who can be happy she is thin enough to get into Miller's "lab", addressed the topic, saying they don't discriminate based on weight. Ironically, her research is on body weight issues. Who knew she could just look at her own department?
While UNM is at least making a pretense of saying they don't roll that way, and are going to look into whether or not this is really research, NYU doesn't care what obese people think about the intolerance at their school.
“Professors have said things before that are controversial,” Philip Lentz of NYU's Public Affairs office told The Observer. "Professor Miller apologized for the Tweet and deleted it. NYU considers the matter closed.”
Fat girls, consider going into physics or engineering instead. Men only care about the size of your intellect there.
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