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Feline Reactions to Bearded Men
HotAIR ^ | FR POST 2-9-2005 | by Catherine Maloney, Fairfield University

Posted on 02/10/2005 11:24:26 AM PST by vannrox

> CLASSICAL > Feline

Reactions to Bearded Men



Feline Reactions to Bearded Men

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


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

Abstract

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

Findings of Prior Investigators

Boone (1958) found inconclusive results in studying feline reactions to clean-shaven men. O'Connor and Brynner (1990) found inconclusive results in studying feline reactions to shaven heads. Quant (1965) found inconclusive results in studying feline reactions to bangs. Seuss (1955) found inconclusive results in studying feline reactions to hats. Ciccone (1986) found inconclusive results in studying feline reactions to hairy legs. Other related studies (Smith/Brothers 1972, Conroy 1987, Schwartzenegger 1983) have since been retracted because the investigators were not able to reproduce their results.

Norquist (1988) performed a series of experiments in which cats were exposed to photographs of Robert Bork[1] (not pictured here), a man whose beard is confined largely to the underside of the jaw. After viewing the Bork photograph, 26% of the cats exhibited paralysis of the legs and body, including the neck. An additional 31% of the cats exposed to the Bork photograph showed other types of severe neurological and/or pulmocardial distress and/or exhibited extremely violent behavior. Because of this, we did not include a photograph of this type of bearded man in our study.

Materials

Five photographs were used in the study. The photographs, reproduced here, display a range of different types of bearded men. (As noted above, one type of bearded man was, however, excluded from use in this study.)

The test subjects were female cats, all between the ages of four and six. 214 cats participated in the study. Three cats died during the study, due to causes unrelated to the bearded men. Fifteen cats gave birth while viewing the photographs.[2]

Methods

Each cat was exposed to the photographs. One photograph was shown at a time. Each photograph was visible for a span of twenty seconds. The photographs were presented in the same order to each cat.

While each cat was viewing the photographs, it was held by a laboratory assistant. To ensure that the cats were not influenced by stroking or other unconscious cues from the assistant, the assistant was anesthetized prior to each session. The cats' reactions were assessed for changes in pulse rate, respiration, eye dilation, fur shed rate, and qualitative behavior.

Results

The results are presented in Table 1. The quantitative results are average values calculated over the entire feline subject population. The qualitative results are broken out by percentages of the subject population.

Table 1

Pulse Rate:

Runkel:         +42%

Crafts:        unchanged

Despradelle:   +87%

Pritchett:     +2%

Wiener:        unchanged

Respiration:

Runkel:        +186%

Crafts:        unchanged

Despradelle:   +317%

Pritchett:     + 3%

Wiener:        unchanged

Eye Dilation:

Runkel:        +23%

Crafts:        +1%

Despradelle:   +31%

Pritchett:     +3%

Wiener:        unchanged

Fur Shed Rate:

Runkel:        +12%

Crafts:        unchanged

Despradelle:   +19%

Pritchett:     +2%

Wiener:        unchanged

Qualitative Behavior:

Runkel:  

          52% attacked photograph; hissing; spitting; 

                generally agitated behavior.

          34% fled.

          14% had no visible response.

Crafts:   

          2% attacked photograph.

          1% fled.

          1% licked photograph.

          94% had no visible response.

Despradelle:   

          79% attacked photograph; hissing; spitting; 

                generally violent, agitated behavior; chaotic 

                tail twitch; screeching; incontinence.

          19% fled.

          2% had no visible response.

Pritchett:    

          7% attacked photograph.

          1% fled.

          91% had no visible response.

Wiener:        (100%) No visible response.

Interpretation

  1. Cats do not like men with long beards, especially long dark beards.
  2. Cats are indifferent to men with shorter beards.
  3. 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]

Acknowledgments

The author wishes to thank The MIT Museum Collection for allowing us to use photographs from its Bearded Men Collection and for generously granting permission to reproduce the photographs as part of this research report. Special thanks to Sally Beddow for assistance in selecting appropriate photographs (the Collection includes more than 71,000 photographs of bearded men) and to Warren Seamans and Kathy Thurston. Special thanks also to Lisa Yane for coordinating the scheduling, travel and housing arrangements for the feline subjects and for obtaining medical clearances in connection with anesthetizing the research assistant.

Notes

  1. Bork was a nominee to the United States Supreme Court. Because of Bork's distinctive beard, his photograph has been used in reaction studies with dogs, rats, and planaria (flatworms) and in bombardment studies with pigeons.
  2. We excluded all data pertaining to the fifteen cats who gave birth while viewing the photographs. The reproducibility of the GAVE BIRTH/DID NOT GIVE BIRTH data will be addressed in a separate, future study.
  3. Photographs do not, of course, produce pheromones, but they do emanate airborne scents derived from chemicals used in the photo developing process. Our study with animate bearded men will employ a strategy to eliminate this imbalance: before being shown to the cats, each bearded man will be immersed in a photochemical bath.

Bibliography

NOTE: After this report was published, the authors continued their research.
A later report (including newly discovered historical photos of cats reacting to Abraham Lincoln, Csar Nicholas, and others) can be seen in the Sept./Oct. 1999 issue (vol. 5, no. 5) of the Annals of Improbable Research.
And still further reports appear in many of the subsequent issues of the magazine.

Also see the report Feline Reactions to Bearded Men of Beard Type #55G.

 

This is a HotAIR classical feature. For new airy stuff, see What's New.


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TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: beard; cat; chemistry; feline; groth; hair; humor; male; physics; science; study; unusual
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Hum...
1 posted on 02/10/2005 11:24:29 AM PST by vannrox
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To: vannrox

What was the point of this???


2 posted on 02/10/2005 11:25:43 AM PST by RockinRight (It's NOT too early to start talking about 2006...or 2008.)
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To: vannrox

Trolls must have long dark beards, because the viking kitties do not like them.


3 posted on 02/10/2005 11:26:51 AM PST by eyespysomething (Vous pouvez vous rendre au garde de securite!)
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To: vannrox

And we care about how cats react to beards why?


4 posted on 02/10/2005 11:26:54 AM PST by Little Pig (Is it time for "Cowboys and Muslims" yet?)
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To: vannrox

Well! I always wondered. Another one of life's mysteries solved! :-D


5 posted on 02/10/2005 11:27:31 AM PST by freepertoo
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To: vannrox; Admin Moderator

Uh, this is hardly news. In fact, it's hardly anything. Chat, perhaps?


6 posted on 02/10/2005 11:28:02 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: vannrox

Someone has WAY too much time on their hands.


7 posted on 02/10/2005 11:28:17 AM PST by Spruce
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To: vannrox

Well, this was a thorough waste of someone's money.


8 posted on 02/10/2005 11:28:20 AM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: RockinRight

cats don't like muslims either?


9 posted on 02/10/2005 11:28:31 AM PST by sure_fine (*not one to over kill the thought process*)
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To: vannrox

>>Bork was a nominee to the United States Supreme Court. Because of Bork's distinctive beard, his photograph has been used in reaction studies with dogs, rats, and planaria (flatworms) and in bombardment studies with pigeons.

Wow, Academics really don't like Bork.


10 posted on 02/10/2005 11:28:40 AM PST by Betis70 (I'm only Left Wing when I play hockey)
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To: Little Pig
"And we care about how cats react to beards why?"

Well, as a bearded man, it's nice to know this information before I pick up a cat.
11 posted on 02/10/2005 11:28:46 AM PST by TruBluKentuckian
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To: RockinRight
Despradelle:



79% attacked photograph; hissing; spitting; generally violent, agitated behavior; chaotic tail twitch; screeching; incontinence.

19% fled.
12 posted on 02/10/2005 11:28:55 AM PST by vannrox (The Preamble to the Bill of Rights - without it, our Bill of Rights is meaningless!)
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To: vannrox

I have had a beard since 1972. All animals love me. Well, I haven't tried to get friendly with snakes and wild beasts. I'm not like that idiot who thought the could be friends with the bears. One day, his friends had him for the main course and his stupid girlfriend for dessert.


13 posted on 02/10/2005 11:29:03 AM PST by doug from upland (I would trust Stevie Wonder to give me a ride before I'd trust Ted Kennedy)
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To: vannrox

????????


14 posted on 02/10/2005 11:29:05 AM PST by SZonian (Tagline???? I don't need no stinkin' tagline!)
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To: RockinRight

Too much time on my hands t-t-t-t-t-t-t Too much time on my hands t-t-t-t-t-t-t Too much time on my haaa-aaa-ands!


15 posted on 02/10/2005 11:30:15 AM PST by MarineBrat ("God is dead"- Nietzsche,1886. "Nietzsche is dead"- God,1901)
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To: vannrox

I think it's hilarious. Some people need to retune their sense of humor.


16 posted on 02/10/2005 11:30:29 AM PST by Petronski (I'm not all that cranky anymore. Someday I'll say just why.)
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To: sure_fine
hiss

17 posted on 02/10/2005 11:31:04 AM PST by evets (God bless president George W. Bush)
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To: vannrox

Useless crap.


18 posted on 02/10/2005 11:31:17 AM PST by DCPatriot (I don't do politically correct very well either.)
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To: evets

Nice.


19 posted on 02/10/2005 11:31:38 AM PST by Petronski (I'm not all that cranky anymore. Someday I'll say just why.)
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To: vannrox

Makes you wonder how much money was spent on this...and exactly "who" couldn't live without this information... ;.)


20 posted on 02/10/2005 11:32:03 AM PST by EX52D
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To: vannrox
Huh?


21 posted on 02/10/2005 11:32:24 AM PST by spodefly (Yo, homey ... Is that my briefcase?)
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To: vannrox

I wonder how they would react to a bearded lady? ;-)


22 posted on 02/10/2005 11:32:57 AM PST by KansasConservative1
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To: doug from upland

How about that guy that video taped himself petting the lions? I never did get to see it, but I hear it was hilarious or tragic, depending on what kind of person you are.


23 posted on 02/10/2005 11:33:04 AM PST by BykrBayb (It's not about cartoon characters - it's the teachers guide)
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To: DCPatriot

I don't like any kind of beard. If one came near me, I would bite and scratch! Meow!


24 posted on 02/10/2005 11:34:07 AM PST by Goodgirlinred ( GoodGirlInRed Four More Years!!!!!)
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To: vannrox

Can't thank you enough for this. In fact, you won't believe this, I awoke with a start this morning wondering how cats react to men with long beards. I was worried that I wouldn't readily find any research on this, in fact I was about to stay home from work today; then came your posting to save the day. Thanks again!!!!

nikos


25 posted on 02/10/2005 11:34:10 AM PST by nikos1121
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To: vannrox
"79% attacked photograph; hissing; spitting; generally violent, agitated behavior; chaotic tail twitch; screeching; incontinence. 19% fled."

If they want a more unequivocal response, try a photo of Helen Thomas.
26 posted on 02/10/2005 11:35:53 AM PST by RightOnTheLeftCoast (You're it)
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To: vannrox

So how much dd we pay for this?


27 posted on 02/10/2005 11:36:25 AM PST by Bogey78O (Hillary Clinton + Fertility pills + Scott Peterson + rowboat = Success)
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To: vannrox

Academia searching for answers to life's most challenging questions. I hope they will also research the sociological implications of pancake bunnies and viking kitties.


28 posted on 02/10/2005 11:36:45 AM PST by MisterRepublican (Liberalism kills.)
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To: nikos1121
I awoke with a start this morning

I think that was from the earthquake in Memphis.

29 posted on 02/10/2005 11:37:27 AM PST by muggs
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To: vannrox

My cat bite mine Monday evening mmmmmmmmmmmmmm?


30 posted on 02/10/2005 11:39:51 AM PST by bmwcyle (Washington DC RINO Hunting Guide)
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To: big'ol_freeper

Hmmm...


31 posted on 02/10/2005 11:39:55 AM PST by Lil'freeper (Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.)
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To: vannrox
This cat was afraid of his own beard.


32 posted on 02/10/2005 11:42:16 AM PST by BykrBayb (It's not about cartoon characters - it's the teachers guide)
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To: vannrox

"Abstract Cats"


33 posted on 02/10/2005 11:50:00 AM PST by BenLurkin (Big government is still a big problem.)
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To: Goodgirlinred

(((I don't like any kind of beard. If one came near me, I would bite and scratch! Meow!)))

Now, now, no need to be catty!


34 posted on 02/10/2005 11:53:00 AM PST by freepertoo
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To: vannrox

35 posted on 02/10/2005 11:53:45 AM PST by BenLurkin (Big government is still a big problem.)
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To: freepertoo
Hisss!Meow!!!
36 posted on 02/10/2005 12:26:22 PM PST by Goodgirlinred ( GoodGirlInRed Four More Years!!!!!)
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To: vannrox
Bork was a nominee to the United States Supreme Court. Because of Bork's distinctive beard, his photograph has been used in reaction studies with dogs, rats, and planaria (flatworms) and in bombardment studies with pigeons.

????????

37 posted on 02/10/2005 12:29:09 PM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: Lil'freeper

I ain't shaving off the goatee!!


38 posted on 02/10/2005 12:34:08 PM PST by big'ol_freeper (World Series Champion Boston Red Sox!! Has a nice ring to it.)
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To: Goodgirlinred

Yearrrrowr!!! That is either the sound of a cat fight or Mr. Dean.


39 posted on 02/10/2005 12:59:28 PM PST by freepertoo
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To: RockinRight
What was the point of this???

Why does everyhing have to have a point? Is there no place for imagination in this world today?

40 posted on 02/10/2005 1:04:34 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (Never apologise, Never explain. It's a sign of weakness)
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To: Oztrich Boy

This was probably a Democratic research project, in which case a point is besides the, er...point.


41 posted on 02/10/2005 1:08:20 PM PST by freepertoo
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To: vannrox

Bibliography
Boone, Patrick, "Cat Reactions to Clean-Shaven Men," in Western Musicology Journal, March/April 1958, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 4-21.
Ciccone, Madonna Louise, "Feline Responses to Hairy Legs," in Midwestern Sociological Review, January 1986, vol. 32, no. 1, pp 51-79.
Conroy, Gary, "Feline Responses to Ponytails," in Urban Sociology Review, November 25, 1987, vol. 21, no. 36, pp. 302-321.
Norquist, Winthrop Grover, "Feline Reactions to Supreme Court Nominees," in Journal of Feline Forensic Studies, vol. 12, no. 8, August 1988, pp. 437-450.
O'Connor, Sinead, and Brynner, Y., "Feline Responses to Shaven Heads," in Journal of Head Trauma, May 30, 1990, vol. 42, no. 17, pp. 309-324.
Quant, Mary, "Cat Responses to Bangs," in Tonsological Proceedings, May 1965, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 251-262.
Schwartzenegger, A., "A Study of How Cats Respond to Body Hair," in Mind/Body Review, December 1983, vol. 3, no. 12, pp. 25-108.
Seuss, Doctor, "Feline Responses to Hats," in Veterinary Developmental Studies, July 1955, vol. 32, no. 7, pp. 54-62.
Smith, J., and Brothers, Joyce, "Feline Responses to Healthy Adults," in Health Advice, September 1972, vol. 51, no. 9, pp. 32-33.


Look at their supposed bibliography! Arnold and Madonna are in it?

LOL


42 posted on 02/10/2005 1:18:00 PM PST by NathanR (Mexico: So far from God; So close to the USA.)
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To: vannrox

The truth is cats don't like men with beards ..... unless they happen to live with a man with a beard. Then they don't like men who don't have a beard, unless the man they live with, who has a beard, mistreats them. If they live with a man who mistreats them, then they don't like men at all, and will only respond to a woman. Got it?


43 posted on 02/10/2005 1:18:42 PM PST by Ditter
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To: All

Duh, people, it's from the Annals of Improbable Research -- a parody science mag. It's not something we spent tax money on.


44 posted on 02/10/2005 1:21:56 PM PST by Sloth (I don't post a lot of the threads you read; I make a lot of the threads you read better.)
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To: Sloth

One of their articles "How to Build an Atomic Bomb" was found in a Taliban house in Afghanistan, so it's not only FReeper who can be tricked by their stuff.


45 posted on 02/10/2005 1:28:17 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Did these folks sponsor the book "Why Cats Paint?" :-D


46 posted on 02/10/2005 1:33:04 PM PST by freepertoo
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To: freepertoo

LOL! I will take the beard if it is a choice.


47 posted on 02/10/2005 1:33:13 PM PST by Goodgirlinred ( GoodGirlInRed Four More Years!!!!!)
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To: vannrox
It seems the assistant had the most fun:

To ensure that the cats were not influenced by stroking or other unconscious cues from the assistant, the assistant was anesthetized prior to each session.

48 posted on 02/10/2005 1:36:51 PM PST by Feiny (Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.)
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To: vannrox

I think this study is bogus and was probably secretly funded by Gillette in order to convince bearded cat owners to buy their products...


49 posted on 02/10/2005 1:38:23 PM PST by Welsh Rabbit
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To: vannrox

If I eat a bagel with peanut butter, and do not carefully remove the remnants from My beard, I am likely to wake up with My cat doing the job for Me. All this seems to prove is that My cat loves peanut butter bagels. He does not do this with pimento cheese bagels.
There must be some conclusion for Me to draw, here, but I am Damned if I can find it, unless it is that some cats love peanut butter.


50 posted on 02/10/2005 2:46:35 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER
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