Do Glasses Make You Look Smarter?



People have long wondered: Do glasses make you look smarter? Research shows the answer is yes — but they can also make you less attractive.

However, what’s really fascinating about this study is it also showed that effects were determined by the type of glasses.

Rimless glasses make your face less distinctive, increase your perceived trustworthiness and do not decrease attractiveness.

So Do glasses make you look smarter? Yes. But you still might want to put a little extra thought into which pair you buy:

In face perception, besides physiognomic changes, accessories like eyeglasses can influence facial appearance. According to a stereotype, people who wear glasses are more intelligent, but less attractive. In a series of four experiments, we showed how full-rim and rimless glasses, differing with respect to the amount of face they cover, affect face perception, recognition, distinctiveness, and the attribution of stereotypes. Eyeglasses generally directed observers’ gaze to the eye regions; rimless glasses made faces appear less distinctive and resulted in reduced distinctiveness in matching and in recognition tasks. Moreover, the stereotype was confirmed but depended on the kind of glasses—rimless glasses yielded an increase in perceived trustworthiness, but not a decrease in attractiveness. Thus, glasses affect how we perceive the faces of the people wearing them and, in accordance with an old stereotype, they can lower how attractive, but increase how intelligent and trustworthy people wearing them appear. These effects depend on the kind of glasses worn.

Source: “The glasses stereotype revisited: Effects of eyeglasses on perception, recognition, and impression of faces.” from Swiss Journal of Psychology/Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Psychologie/Revue Suisse de Psychologie, Vol 70(4), Dec 2011, 211-222.

What do you think? Do glasses make you look smarter?

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