Popular Science has a great gallery up of scientific research that points out the obvious, such as the gem below.
Unathletic Kids Are Unpopular at School
Photo by Kevin February
The Study: “Perceived Athletic Competence, Sociometric Status, and Loneliness in Elementary School Children,” Journal of Sport Behavior, September 2007
The Findings: Janice Causgrove Dunn of the University of Alberta studied 99 boys and 109 girls in Western Canada in grades four through six, finding that those students who were perceived by others as having good athletic skills were more popular, while the seemingly uncoordinated often felt dissatisfaction and isolation.
Why Bother? Because no one had thought to study the phenomenon before, yet it’s crucial to understanding how social strata form among students. “We knew there was a common-sense link between lack of athletic skill and loneliness,” Dunn says. Although much research relied on that assumed link, she couldn’t find a single study to back it up, so she undertook it herself. “It’s funny how many colleagues have said ‘thank you’ for finally having something to cite.”
Gee, I could have told you that from first-hand experience. Check out the full gallery for more.