Monday, December 2, 2013

That dumb blonde may not be dumb

Men and women can identify smart men on sight. Smart women? Not so much:
We used static facial photographs of 40 men and 40 women to test the relationship between measured IQ, perceived intelligence, and facial shape. Both men and women were able to accurately evaluate the intelligence of men by viewing facial photographs. In addition to general intelligence, figural and fluid intelligence showed a significant relationship with perceived intelligence, but again, only in men. No relationship between perceived intelligence and IQ was found for women.

We used geometric morphometrics to determine which facial traits are associated with the perception of intelligence, as well as with intelligence as measured by IQ testing. Faces that are perceived as highly intelligent are rather prolonged with a broader distance between the eyes, a larger nose, a slight upturn to the corners of the mouth, and a sharper, pointing, less rounded chin. By contrast, the perception of lower intelligence is associated with broader, more rounded faces with eyes closer to each other, a shorter nose, declining corners of the mouth, and a rounded and massive chin.
I've long has the impression that you can discern high and low intelligence by the eyes. Intelligent people usually have eyes that either sparkle or burn. I seem to have the latter; it's not uncommon for people to step backward in alarm when I forget to do what I think of as turning down my eyes. Stupid people, on the other hand, tend to have eyes that are dull and unfocused.

It is interesting, though, because the study matches my own experience. I have, on occasion, been taken completely by surprise with the unexpected intelligence of a woman, whereas that very seldom seems to happen with men.


Anonymous said...

This seems to be more evidence that intelligence in men is an important factor and intelligence in women is not, at least at first glance.

~ Stingray

Anonymous said...

During the first couple drives of a recent NFL game, the network introduced the players by putting up little clips of the players saying their names and colleges, like "John Doe, State University." I'm not so sure that's a good idea, because some guys looked like they were struggling to remember their lines, and we're all supposed to believe they were passing college courses. A few seemed to have that spark of intelligence in their eyes that you mentioned, which really made them stand out. The rest should probably keep their helmets on whenever the cameras are rolling.

Anonymous said...

Dumb blonde trope was invented by Hollywood Jews.

In all cultures "fair ladies" are seen as more pure and beautiful.

Doom said...

The eyes. Yes. I don't know if it is always intelligence, though that is an aspect. People are either alive or 'dead', and intelligence is a part of that.

As to my faults with women? It is my wanting pretty women to be less intelligent. Why? Why??? Because. There are reasons. None of them politically correct, nor in actually misogynist no matter how much I would hope for such. Practical, simple, human reasons... Natural. Urhm, dumb being a very relative term, mind you. Dumber than me is good enough. :)

Revelation Means Hope said...

Because the spark in women's eyes are put there by emotional reaction to their environment, not by intelligence. They are engaged and ready when meeting your eyes. If you aren't a gamma. Although I suppose a gamma would see a spark because of the emotional contempt, so they have that going for them. /s

The quickest way to determine a woman's IQ is when she opens her mouth, not by looking into her eyes.

Bernard Brandt said...

Let's unpack the study a bit further, shall we:

At one point, the authors of the report state: "Gender influences the accuracy of intelligence assessment.
Men were more accurately assessed for intelligence than women, while women were more accurate at assessing the intelligence of both men and women."

In a follow-up study, it might be a reasonable idea to investigate how women are better able to assess the intelligence of men and women than men, and the criteria by which women are more accurately able to assess the intelligence of women.

While I hesitate to speculate in the absence of data, it should be obvious that women's superior ability to discern intelligence in males and females is a part of a survival strategy which involves choosing mates, and estimating competitors.

Beau said...

Intelligent people usually have eyes that either sparkle or burn.

The eyes of those filled with the Holy Spirit are radiant and attractive, unless doing discipline, in which case the eyes are limpid and hard.

buzzardist said...

I agree about the eyes. My guess is that people are able to rate intelligence in men by appearance because intelligence is a quality valued highly in men and less so traditionally in women. With women, many other qualities rank much more highly. Men are valued by their perceived reproductive and breadwinner potential. The former relies mostly on physical appearance. The latter falls to some combination of physical prowess and intelligence, with inherited wealth also factoring in. Women, on the other hand, traditionally don't fulfill that breadwinner role, so unless they are spectacularly stupid, rating their intelligence doesn't matter nearly so much as rating their reproductive, child-rearing, and household management potential. Some intelligence is necessary, but exceptionally high intelligence is not.

Doom said...


I disagree, to a degree. Women can have just as much difficulty spitting out words while enthralled as any gamma. If the eyes are dilated, don't judge the words... or, at least not on the spot. Besides, to a degree, biologically, I was programmed to look for... less intelligent women. Let those who have the time and interest in taming brilliance do that work. It's a specialty niche. I've tried my hand at it, and do passingly well, it just isn't my thing. Brilliance can be just as dull as not, in the form of a woman. To each their own.

Markku said...

"Brilliance can be just as dull as not, in the form of a woman."

Hope not for minde in women; at their best,
Sweetnesse, & wit they'are, but, Mummy, possest.

John Donne - Loves Alchymie

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