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They’re touted as being the window to the soul, but a new study says your eyes might provide a look into your personality, too. The study from the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales, published in Current Psychology, links a person’s eye color with how agreeable that person is. Researchers found that those with lighter-colored (blue and green) eyes tended to be less agreeable and more competitive than their brown-eyed peers.
Blue and green eyes were also linked to being egocentric and skeptical of others while those with brown eyes were seen as more altruistic, sympathetic and willing to help others.
The explanation for eye color serving as a benchmark for agreeableness could be cultural. “Brown eyes are more common, so it could be that there is a sense of ‘belonging’ or fitting in with those who have dark eyes,” Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, professor of psychology and neuropsychological researcher. “Brown eyes may also be more likely to come from cultures where a trait like agreeableness is more culturally and societally valued than in blue-eyed cultures.”
“Blue eyes may seem cooler while brown eyes perhaps seem warmer. That can then be manifested by stereotypes about competition, agreeableness, etc.,” adds Durvasula.
Agreeableness isn’t the only personality trait connected to eye color. A recent survey conducted by CyberPulse, a division of Impulse Research Corporation in Los Angeles uncovered this colorful research.
Intelligence was the number one trait associated with brown, the most common eye color in the U.S., by 34 percent of respondents. Being trustworthy was second (16 percent said this) and kind (13 percent) came in as the third most likely trait of those with brown eyes.
Other research has said brown eyed people have stronger eye contact skills, with researchers speculating this could be because they don’t anticipate being looked at as much as blue eyed people.
The most common characteristic thought to be associated with blue-eyed individuals: exuding sweetness by (42 percent), with being sexy (21 percent) and kind (10 percent) rounding out the top three.
Interestingly, in contrast to brown eyes, blue eyes were not associated with intelligence as only 7 percent of respondents thought of blue-eyed people as intelligent.
Twenty-nine percent of participants associated green eyes with sexiness, the top characteristic thought to be related to this color. Green-eyes was also thought of as creative (25 percent) and a little devious (20 percent).
Being trustworthy and shy was also linked to green-eyed people.
No matter their color, a majority of people (60 percent) wished they could change their own hue. The most wished for color? Green, with 27 percent of respondents saying they’d switch to green eyes if given the chance. Coming in at a close second was amethyst while 18 percent expressed the desire to have blue eyes.
“While it’s not often studied, the link between eye color and personality is very interesting,” says Durvasula. “And certainly something to look in to!”