People With Blue Eyes Are Less Trustworthy?
March 15, 2013

People With Blue Eyes Are Less Trustworthy?

Scientific studies illustrate that people with blue eyes are generally perceived as less trustworthy than those with brown eyes. Get some brown contacts! Fast!

Don’t judge a book by its cover, right?


According to Forbes, research at NYU found that people pass judgment within the first seven seconds of meeting someone.

“The moment that stranger sees you, his or her brain makes a thousand computations: Are you someone to approach or to avoid? Are you friend or foe? Do you have status and authority? Are you trustworthy, competent, likeable, confident?

And these computations are made at lightning speed. Researchers from NYU found that we make eleven major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting.”

Depending on your posture, attitude, and several other nonverbal cues, you may be doomed from jump street if you’ve got steely blue eyes like Frank Sinatra.

According to NBC, Karel Kleisner and his colleagues “asked more than 200 students to rate how much they could trust a series of 80 male and female faces with either brown or blue eyes.

The complete study can be found at Plos One.

The color of your eyes doesn’t mean you’re doomed necessarily. Rather, the facial features that are native to your eye color are the biggest factors in how strangers gauge your trustworthiness.

The abstract of the research reads, “We tested whether eye color influences perception of trustworthiness. Facial photographs of 40 female and 40 male students were rated for perceived trustworthiness. Eye color had a significant effect, the brown-eyed faces being perceived as more trustworthy than the blue-eyed ones. Geometric morphometrics, however, revealed significant correlations between eye color and face shape. Thus, face shape likewise had a significant effect on perceived trustworthiness, but only for male faces; the effect for female faces not being significant. To determine whether perception of trustworthiness was being influenced primarily by eye color or by face shape, we recolored the eyes on the same male facial photos and repeated the test procedure. Eye color now had no effect on perceived trustworthiness. We concluded that although the brown-eyed faces were perceived as more trustworthy than the blue-eyed ones, it was not brown eye color per se that caused the stronger perception of trustworthiness but rather the facial features associated with brown eyes.” (Usually I’d summarize a thing like this, but it all seems pretty important to understanding the scope of the research.)

Generally, the more trustworthy faces had a more narrow shape, bigger eyes, and broader mouths with upward-oriented lips, according to the research.

Kleisner explained, “These are characteristics associated with brown eyes.”

“On the other hand, blue eyes tend to be smaller, meaning many blue-eyed faces are pointier and longer with eyebrows that are far apart.”

Knowing that there’s more to trustworthiness than just eye color, “Kleisner added that the research needs to be replicated using different photos and different subjects, and he cautioned against over-interpreting the significance of the findings.”

Also, blue eyes are very common in certain parts of the world and are even preferred aesthetically, so their correlation with being untrustworthy is somewhat balanced by their beauty. Don’t fret too much if you’ve got blue eyes and you’re faced with a job interview or client consultation tomorrow.

You can trust me on this one; I have brown eyes!

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