Science Says People Who Wear Glasses Are Actually Smarter

No, it's not just a stereotype.

If you're watching a movie, particularly one that's set in high school, you know which character is the smartest based on whether or not they're wearing glasses. It's a well-worn trope, one that is believed to have originated way back when the font in books are periodicals was so tiny that everyone who actually read anything had their vision impaired. You'd think the stereotype that people who wear glasses are smarter would therefore be completed outdated in 2018, but, according to science, it actually has some genetic merit.

In the most wide-ranging study conducted on the subject, University of Edinburgh researchers analyzed the data of over 300,000 people aged between 16 and 102 and found that those who wear glasses or need contact lenses were 30 percent smarter than their able-visioned counterparts. The study, which was published in the journal Nature, found "significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function, reaction time, and many health variables including eyesight, hypertension, and longevity."

Which means that not only do people who are vision-impaired exhibit higher levels of intelligence, they also tend to be healthier and live longer, and are less likely to suffer from depression. Talk about winning the genetic lottery.

Of course, the study has limitations, particularly because intelligence is not that easy to quantifiably measure. But it's well-known that, at the very least, people who have poor eyesight are perceived to be more intelligent and trustworthy, which is why lawyers often ask their clients to wear glasses when taking the stand at a trial. Furthermore, one 2011 study found that people who wear rimless glasses are often seen as more attractive to their peers. And for more on the science of attraction, check out Why Women Are No Longer Interested In Flashy Men.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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