The Weird Truth About Brown-Eyed Men

Elise Solé

Don't know if you can trust your new beau? Look into his eyes.

Guys with brown eyes are deemed more trustworthy than their blue-eyed counterparts—and it all has to do with the shape of their faces, according to the results of a new study conducted by Charles University in Prague. For the study, researchers collected 80 photographs of men and women with either blue or brown eyes, then asked a group of 238 students to rate how trustworthy, attractive, or dominant the people in the photos seemed on a scale of one to 10.

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The results showed that men with brown eyes were judged as more trustworthy than men with blue eyes (Women reflected the same trend but not anywhere as much as men did).

The researchers wanted to make sure it was specifically eye color that determined trustworthiness so they conducted a second study where they took the same faces but used a photo-editing program to swap the eye color of the subjects. So this time, the brown-eyed men and women had blue eyes and the blue-eyed subjects had brown eyes. When they asked a different group of 106 students to judge the photos for trustworthiness, the results were surprising:

The same faces that were deemed trustworthy in the first experiment were still judged as such, even though those people now had blue eyes, leading researchers to surmise that it's not the eye color itself but the shape of the face that signals trust. When they analyzed the faces, they found that the brown-eyed men had bigger mouths and noses, broader chins, and more prominent eyebrows—traits associated with classic "baby faces" which tend to convey feelings of trust.

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"Eye color is something superficial, and nobody would expect there is a deeper association with the structure of the bones," says lead researcher Karel Kleisner. "We were a little bit surprised."

The significance of eye color may have evolutionary roots. Blue eyes only originated 10,000 years ago and were a rarity which made everyone who had them a hot commodity. So if men were pursuing blue-eyed babes more frequently than ladies with brown eyes, they may have cared less about other facial features which indicated trustworthiness. In the process, these less-trustworthy facial genes may have been passed on in blue-eyed men and women.

But no biggie if your honey has blue eyes. The connection between eye color and personality traits may be culture-specific. For example, says Kleisner, Turkish heritage dictates that blue eyes are associated with the Evil Eye, a glance that supposedly curses others. More research needs to be done across various cultures so in the meantime, judge a guy on his actions, not his eye color.

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