Brown eyed faces look more trustworthy than blue eyed faces

Researchers have found that the faces of the people with brown eyes look more trustworthy.

This research has been published online in the journal PLoS ONE.

Researchers in this study asked 238 participants, from both the genders with different colors of the eyes and shapes of the faces, to rate the male and female faces of 80 students for trustworthiness, attractiveness, and dominance on the basis of eye color and face shape. They found that the three measures correlated well with each other, so that if one scale is high the other ones also got higher ranking.

Brown eyes (Credit:

Researchers found that the participants viewed brown eyed faces as more trustworthy than the faces with blue eyes whether the faces were male or female, except the broad faces with blue eyes. Change in the shape of male faces show variation in the trustworthiness but the shape of female faces didn’t have much effect as they were considered more trustworthy than the male ones.

Researchers found that the participants rated rounded male faces, with bigger mouths and larger chins as more trustworthy as compared to the narrow ones.

To check, which of the two features are more important to rate the trustworthiness, researchers carried out another test. In this test, participants were presented with photographs except for one difference i.e. eye color. They found that both the eye colors were considered as equally trustworthy.

Researchers wrote, “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.”


Kleisner, K., Priplatova, L., Frost, P., & Flegr, J. (2013). Trustworthy-Looking Face Meets Brown Eyes PLoS ONE, 8 (1) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053285

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  • Elise

    I think that this could be true. Although I believe it would be determined by who saw the faces. For example you are going to receive different answers from younger kids and adults. Who a child considers to be trustworthy could differ from who a 40 years old man considers to be trustworthy. A blue eyed girl might consider blue eyes to be more trustworthy while on the other hand a brown eyed girl may consider a brown eyed person to be more trustworthy. What I am trying to get at here is that a girl who sees blue eyes everyday in the mirror would get used to seeing blue eyes and they consider there self trustworthy so they maybe more apt to trust the blue eyed girl. Someone who would know more on this subject would be a cognitive psychologist or a development psychologist. A cognitive psychologist would deal with this because they study the perceptions of people and mental imagery. The reason why I think a development psychologist would deal with this is because of my example about the difference of a 40 year old mans idea of trustworthy to a little girl. Development psychologist study the changes that occur at different ages. Also I think choosing who is more trustworthy blue or brown eyes would depend on the color of your mothers eyes. Most of us consider our mothers trustworthy. If we consider our mother to be trustworthy and she has blue eyes than in our mind a blue eyes women later on in our life that is not our mother may be considered trustworthy. I think this is due to the behavioral perception we have of people.

    • Elise! In one long paragraph, you have explained a great deal of interesting psychological considerations. Good Job….