Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Heard on the Hill: KU researchers find our shoes say quite a bit about us; US government releases affordability data; music students headed back to Germany this summer

June 13, 2012


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• I always worried this was true, and now comes new research from KU psychologist Omri Gillath that apparently confirms it. Apparently, you can tell quite a bit about people just by looking at their shoes.

Gillath and his colleagues’ research was published in the Aug. 2012 edition of the Journal of Research in Personality, and I found it after spotting this write-up of the research in the online publication Medical Daily. Apparently, 63 students looked at photos showing 208 different pairs of shoes belonging to volunteers in the experiment, who provided their favorite pair for the study.

The students were then asked to guess the participants’ gender, age, social status, and other personality traits, like whether the person was an introvert or extrovert, liberal or conservative and a whole host of other traits, too.

The observers did pretty well, it turned out, and the researchers decided that we do wear shoes that reveal our personalities, whether we intend to or not, Medical Daily reported.

Fellow reporter George Diepenbrock pointed out that this area of study had already been covered before by Forrest Gump’s mother, recalling the movie character’s line:

“My momma always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, where they go, where they’ve been.”

I hope these shoes say something like, "Send me a tip for Heard on the Hill."

I hope these shoes say something like, "Send me a tip for Heard on the Hill."

Also, just so you can get to know me a little better, I included a photo of the shoes I happened to be sporting yesterday. George (not a professional fashion photographer, but more than capable), volunteered to take the photo. So now you should know all there is to know about your loyal correspondent. Don't judge me too harshly.

• Last year at about this time, there was some hemming and hawing up on the hill as the federal government unveiled its first list of costliest colleges.

KU turned up somewhat unexpectedly at No. 17 in the country on a list of four-year public schools with the highest “net price,” a figure arrived at by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government or institutional grant or scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance.

KU officials said the school made a data reporting error, and didn’t report all the sources of financial aid the government asked for last year. That error artificially inflated the net cost by about $3,300. The actual figure for last year, KU officials said was $13,940, which was still about 23 percent above the $10,747 national average.

The federal government’s lists are out again this year, and KU isn’t among the four-year public schools with the highest net costs.

Here’s the page of data for KU. It shows a net cost of $14,768 for the 2010-11 school year, the most recent data given on the page. That’s still well above the national average of $10,471, but enough to keep KU off of the “costliest” list, which starts at around $16,187.

• All I had to do was mention a summer trip KU music students took last year in Heard on the Hill yesterday, and then today comes news that it’s happening again.

Students at the KU School of Music will be headed back to Eutin, Germany for a summer music exchange started last year, according to a KU statement.

Going on the trip will be Robert Walzel, dean of the KU School of Music; David Neely, KU’s director of orchestral activities; and 33 student vocalists and instrumentalists.

The students will participate in the festival from Friday until Aug. 20, performing three operas: “Nabucco,” “L’Elisir d’Amore” and “Die Blume von Hawaii,” along with two orchestral concerts and two chamber concerts.

• If I could see your shoes, you wouldn't need to send me a tip for Heard on the Hill to, because I'd probably be able to guess it based on your footwear. But given that I can't, I'd appreciate if you'd go ahead and send them along.


Benjamin Roberts 5 years, 6 months ago

"Apparently, you can tell quite a bit about people just by looking at their shoes."

Joe, a college student, was taking a course in ornithology, the study of birds. The night before the biggest test of the semester, Joe spent all night studying. He had the textbook nearly memorized. He knew his class notes backward and forward. Joe was ready.

The morning of the test, Joe entered the auditorium and took a seat in the front row. On the table in the front was a row of ten stuffed birds. Each bird had a sack covering its body, and only the legs were showing. When class started, the professor announced that the students were to identify each bird by looking at its legs and give its common name, species, habitat, mating habits, etc. Joe looked at each of the birds' legs. They all looked the same to him. He started to get angry. He had stayed up all night studying for this test and now he had to identify birds by their LEGS? The more he thought about the situation, the angrier he got.

Finally he reached his boiling point. He stood up, marched up to the professor's desk, crumpled up his exam paper and threw it on the desk. "What a ridiculous test!" he told the prof. "How could anyone tell the difference between these birds by looking at their legs? This exam is the biggest rip-off I've ever seen!"

With that, Joe turned and stormed toward the exit. The professor was a bit shocked, and it took him a moment to regain his composure. Then, just as Joe was about to walk out the door, the prof shouted out, "Wait a minute, young man, what's your name?"

Joe turned around, pulled up his pant legs and hollered, "You tell me, prof! You tell me!" (

gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

Seems like a reasonable test to me. In high school I once had to identify a selection of woods in shop class by scent. He should be grateful that he got to see the whole leg, and not just a broken bit of fossilized talon.

Bailey Perkins 5 years, 6 months ago

I typically wear kids shoes. Not by choice.

Wonder they're research behind this one.....If you could own this pair of rain boots, I know you would:

Scott Kaiser 5 years, 6 months ago

..."was published Aug, 2012...." You, my friend are are seer. Perhaps you meant to say, "WILL be published...."

Scott Kaiser 5 years, 6 months ago

"....was published Aug, 2012...." You, my friend are a seer. Perhaps you meant to say, "WILL be published...."

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