Thursday, 17 January 2013
Brown eyed people are considered more trustworthy than those with blue eyes, finds a study by researchers from Charles University in Prague.
250 volunteers were asked to look at pictures of 40 men and 40 women, and rate them based on which faces they felt were most honest and reliable.
The results showed that overall men and women with brown eyes were rated more highly than those with blue eyes, and that women were deemed more trustworthy than men.
Women volunteers with brown eyes, showed a slight bias towards photographs of people who also shared their eye colour, by always marking them as more trustworthy than those with blue eyes.
To identify whether it really was eye colour that was influencing the perception of trust, participants were shown manipulated photographs of people with identical face shapes but different eye colours (blue and brown). For male faces, most participants rated both pictures as equally trustworthy, suggesting that rather than brown eyes being the reason we deem people as trustworthy, it was the facial feature associated with brown-eyed people. However, for photographs of women the results were less significant.
In men the facial features associated with different eye colours are starker than in women. For example, brown-eyed men usually have rounder faces, larger eyes and eyebrows closer to each other, a wider mouth and a broader chin, all characteristics identified with a more trustworthy observation.
A scientist involved in the study said: “It seems that relatively smaller eyes and a smaller mouth, with downward-pointing corners, are the facial traits that cause the lower perceived trustworthiness of blue-eyed males.”
So unfortunately, even though you can change your eye colour to brown using colour contact lenses to dazzle onlookers, it will be unlikely to effect how trustworthy people perceive you to be.
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