Eye Colour And Personality Traits: Is The Eye The Mirror Of The Soul?

31st Oct 2013

Presuming a connection between the eyes and the personality of a person is not something that has started nowadays, in fact experts think that it goes back to as far as the ancient Greece, and its popularity is maybe stronger than ever. It’s obvious that the folklore, which is especially susceptible to draw far-fetching conclusions from features and characteristics (just think about the myths surrounding people who were born with four or six fingers, or with fully grown hair for example), but do these believes have any scientific basis? Well, for most of them, the answer is a definite no. „Iridology”, the study which tries to draw conclusions from the human eye, is very much similar to astrology, as it is based mainly on the „expert’s” creativity, much more than on anything else, even if it is covered in a pseudo-scientific hooey.

Having said that, it is important to realise that we can and we actually do conclude things from a person’s eyes. First of all, rarely looking someone in the eye can mean that the person’s conscience is not entirely clear (or just that he or she is particularly shy), while the sudden reactions of one’s eyes can speak volumes about those who are good at hiding their emotions (just think about the saying „anger flashed in one’s eyes”). So we do know that eyes can actually transmit emotions as well as (directly or indirectly) personality traits, but what about the only the colour of the eyes? Can we actually say that „Oh, he’s got hazel eyes, he must be independent and spontaneous, as several articles (like this: http://learner365.hubpages.com/hub/Eye-Color-And-Your-Personality-Traits) like to declare? Definitely not. Can we say though, that dark eyed people tend to have better social skills and that they are less likely to be good „strategic thinkers”, compared to blue eyed people? We definitely can, as some serious scientific studies have proven this. But first, let’s see what makes the colour of the eye.


The colour of the eye

There are two factors that determine the eye colour: the pigmentation of the eye’s iris and the frequency-dependence of the scattering of light in the the iris. The colours and patterns can very on a wide scale, which leads to the fact that irises are just like fingerprints: there are no two completely similar ones in the world. Although previously it was believed that only one recessive gene is responsible for the tone of the iris, recent studies have showed that no fewer that 15 take part in determining the end result, the colour of the eyes. So even though the colour of a new-born usually follows suit with his or her parents’, due to the complexity behind the eye’s genetics, nearly any parent-child combination can occur.

Eye colour can change over time, although quite rarely after the age of three. Most eye colour changes after this age occur during either puberty, pregnancy or after a serious trauma. These changes are reflecting the serious chemical or hormonal changes of the body, thus adding credibility to the argument that the eye is in fact the mirror of the soul. So let’s see what we can conclude from the tone of an individual’s eyes.

Eye colour and personality traits

Is there a connection between eye colour and personality traits? The first studies conducted to compare the cognitive abilities of brown eyes persons with those with blue eyes go back to the sixties, so we can definitely say that there is now a respectable amount of scientific evidence to draw conclusions from. Of course it is quite hard to say which person is rather introvert or let’s say more individual, so it’s also difficult to connect eye tones to personality traits, but one interesting study solved this dilemma by comparing the scores of tests about social skills. These studies showed that dark-eyed people are likely to score more in areas of social skills and neurotic behaviour compared to the light-eyed ones. Another study tried to show a connection between excellence and eye colour. Although there weren’t enough evidence to draw serious conclusions from, there was a slight pattern implying that the rarer the eye tone is, the more chance there is for the „owner” to make something remarkable (for example to be nominated to the Nobel prize, to become a renowned artist, etc.).

Maybe the most interesting paper on the topic was the one that compared the way of thinking of different eye-coloured individuals. The results indicated that those with blue eyes are more „strategic” thinkers, meaning that they are better at activities that require planning and the structuring of time. These observations were underpinned by another study which concluded that brown-eyed athletes fare better in roles that require exceptional reflexes (like the batter in baseball or the goalkeeper in soccer), while blue-eyed people are better in slow-paced sports like golf and snooker (note that these are the ones that require more of a „strategy-based” thinking as well).

Is the eye the mirror of the soul?

As we could see, we’re still quite far away from making far-fetching comments on the connection of an individual’s eye colour and personality traits, but we can make many assumptions nonetheless. It is not biologically impossible that some hereditary personality traits are in connection with the genes responsible for the colour of the eye, and therefore are descending together to sons and daughters. While some questions remain, we can still declare that the eye is in fact the mirror of the soul (well at least if by „soul”, we mean the very essence of a person, his mental and physical condition, his personality, his experiences, etc.). Anger and love, joy and disappointment, happiness and depression, motivation and dejection can all be observed by just a glimpse of an eye, making it maybe the most expressive part of our body.

Another good reason to take very good care of our eyes.