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How Your Glasses Affects the First Impression

Posted on February 21st, 2019

It takes only a tenth of a second to make a first impression on someone.

The way we perceive faces creates significant reactions from our brains. Our brains work in overdrive, making conclusions based on tiny elements of behaviour, facial symmetry, hair, makeup, and even clothing. This instantaneous judgement is a process that indicates whether or not an attraction is present. With so many factors—called “thin slices” of judgement in the psychology world—influencing a first impression, it is no wonder that eyewear can make a big impact on your appearance and how you are perceived.

How we perceive others wearing different types of glasses

Studies on the perception of wearing glasses have brought forth interesting findings:

  • Wearing glasses implies that you read more often and, in turn, suggests that you are of higher intelligence.  A 1943 study of physical and personality traits found that wearing glasses can make you appear to be more honest, sophisticated, dependable, and industrious; more recent research shows these judgements remain true.
    • A 2008 study on mock jurors’ perceptions found that wearing glasses creates a perception of both increased intelligence and decreased physical threat levels in male defendants.
  • The style of glasses you wear can, in fact, affect how you are perceived by others. Specifically, when wearing glasses with rims, one can come across more trustworthy.
    • A controlled study published in the Swiss Journal of Psychology in 2011 found that rimless eyeglass wearers appeared less distinctive.
  • A French study conducted in 2015 found that wearing glasses gives the impression that you come from a higher social class.
  • In 2012, an Australian university examined the personality traits associated with prestige sensitivity. They found that wearing glasses with logos implies you are fashion conscious and self-aware.

How we perceive ourselves wearing different types of glasses

Jason Kirk, founder of London, UK, eyewear brand Kirk & Kirk, interpret this research from a different perspective.

“It’s not just a matter of how glasses shape a perception of you. It’s about how wearing glasses shapes your own psychology. People now even wear glasses as a kind of power play, as an expression of confidence, for example, or to boost their confidence,” he told Raconteur magazine.

“At one point not that long ago, it was hard to get people in the public eye to wear glasses at all. It was perceived as a sign of frailty. But it’s remarkable the number of people who now just see non-prescription glasses as another accessory, as a means of manipulating their image, regardless of any medical need.”

Here at FYidoctors, we know that glasses can be tools to improve your vision and fashion accessories to highlight your personal style.

If you’re interested in switching up your eyewear style, visit our online shop or your local FYidoctors to discover your next look. 

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