What Does It Mean When You Have Brown Eyes?
- Pieter Maas
How Do Brown Eyes Get Their Color? – There are dozens of genes for eye color that contribute to how people get brown eyes. The amount of melanin, a pigment, in the iris determines eye color. If you have a larger amount of melanin, your eyes appear brown.
What do brown eyes say about you?
They’re touted as being the window to the soul, but a new study says your eyes might provide a look into your personality, too. The study from the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales, published in Current Psychology, links a person’s eye color with how agreeable that person is.
Researchers found that those with lighter-colored (blue and green) eyes tended to be less agreeable and more competitive than their brown-eyed peers. Blue and green eyes were also linked to being egocentric and skeptical of others while those with brown eyes were seen as more altruistic, sympathetic and willing to help others.
The explanation for eye color serving as a benchmark for agreeableness could be cultural. “Brown eyes are more common, so it could be that there is a sense of ‘belonging’ or fitting in with those who have dark eyes,” Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, professor of psychology and neuropsychological researcher.
- Brown eyes may also be more likely to come from cultures where a trait like agreeableness is more culturally and societally valued than in blue-eyed cultures.” “Blue eyes may seem cooler while brown eyes perhaps seem warmer.
- That can then be manifested by stereotypes about competition, agreeableness, etc.,” adds Durvasula.
Agreeableness isn’t the only personality trait connected to eye color. A recent survey conducted by CyberPulse, a division of Impulse Research Corporation in Los Angeles uncovered this colorful research. Brown Eyes Intelligence was the number one trait associated with brown, the most common eye color in the U.S., by 34 percent of respondents.
Being trustworthy was second (16 percent said this) and kind (13 percent) came in as the third most likely trait of those with brown eyes. Other research has said brown eyed people have stronger eye contact skills, with researchers speculating this could be because they don’t anticipate being looked at as much as blue eyed people.
Blue Eyes The most common characteristic thought to be associated with blue-eyed individuals: exuding sweetness by (42 percent), with being sexy (21 percent) and kind (10 percent) rounding out the top three. Interestingly, in contrast to brown eyes, blue eyes were not associated with intelligence as only 7 percent of respondents thought of blue-eyed people as intelligent.
Green Eyes Twenty-nine percent of participants associated green eyes with sexiness, the top characteristic thought to be related to this color. Green-eyes was also thought of as creative (25 percent) and a little devious (20 percent). Being trustworthy and shy was also linked to green-eyed people. No matter their color, a majority of people (60 percent) wished they could change their own hue.
The most wished for color? Green, with 27 percent of respondents saying they’d switch to green eyes if given the chance. Coming in at a close second was amethyst while 18 percent expressed the desire to have blue eyes. “While it’s not often studied, the link between eye color and personality is very interesting,” says Durvasula.
What does it mean to have brown eyes?
Story highlights – All human eyes are brown at their core, due to the presence of melanin Varying levels of the pigment melanin determine how much light is reflected CNN — When you’re next staring deep into the eyes of your partner, the moment may soon be ruined by the knowledge that, regardless of whether these windows to their soul appear piercingly blue or a shimmering green, the reality is that they are brown.
- That’s right.
- All human eyes are brown.
- As the owner of a sparkling set of deep brown eyes, I see no disappointment in the knowledge that all human eyes are in fact a wonderful shade of brown, but for anyone feeling misled or confused, a mix of biology and physics should help explain this reality.
- It all comes down to the presence of the pigment melanin, also found in skin and hair, within your eye’s iris – the colored part that surrounds the pupil.
“Everyone has melanin in the iris of their eye, and the amount that they have determines their eye color,” said Dr. Gary Heiting, a licensed optometrist and senior editor of the eye care website All About Vision, “There’s really only (this) one type of pigment.” Melanin – made up of melanocyte cells – is naturally dark brown in color but has the ability to absorb different amounts of light, depending on how much of it there is.
The more melanin inside the iris, the more light is absorbed, meaning less light is reflected out, leaving the iris appearing brown. But when someone has blue eyes, they have less melanin in their iris, resulting in less light being absorbed and more light reflecting, or scattering, back out. When this light is scattered, it reflects at shorter wavelengths along the blue end of the light color spectrum – leaving you seeing blue.
Green and hazel eyes are somewhere in the middle, with differing quantities of melanin resulting in different levels of light absorption and therefore different colors reflecting out. Hazel is considered a mixture of eye colors, according to Heiting. Different light settings can also make some eyes appear to change color depending on where the person is standing. “It’s an interaction between the amount of melanin and the architecture of the iris itself,” added Heiting. “It’s a very complex architecture.” This part of the eye is therefore unique to most individuals and can act as something like a fingerprint, due to the existence of various textures and patterns.
- Blue eyes have the least amount of pigment of all eye colors.
- When babies are born, their eyes may sometimes appear blue early on, while their melanin is still forming.
- Their eye color may then darken as they develop.
- As a baby develops, more melanin accumulates in the iris,” said Heiting.
- Like skin color, one theory behind the evolution of eye color is the migration of our early ancestors toward cooler parts of the world.
While high levels of melanin – in eyes, hair, and skin – help protect people in hotter climates, like Africa, from UV radiation, the need for the protective pigment decreases as people move to locations with less sun. “There was less need for all that melanin,” Heiting said.
- Another theory conceived by professor Hans Eiberg at the University of Copenhagen was that a mutation once switched off the ability of someone’s eye to produce melanin.
- This would lead to light eyes in the affected individual; their rarity may have made them more attractive and aided their natural selection within the population.
In one study, he analyzed genes for eye color and identified what he believed to be a common mutation causing blue eye color. “It’s believed that’s how blue eyes came about, but it may just be the de-emphasis on the need for all the melanin,” Heiting said.
It’s long been believed that if someone has brown eyes – or what appear to be brown eyes – their chances of having a child with lighter eyes are slim. Following suit is the theory that two people with blue eyes will automatically have a child with blue eyes due to the gene being recessive, rather than dominant.
But this is also not quite true.
Do brown eyes ever get lighter?
The Claim: Eye Color Can Change as We Age (Published 2005) Really?
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THE CLAIM – Eye color can change as we age. THE FACTS – It can bend light, bring the world into focus, and next to the human brain may be our most complicated organ. But for many people the most intriguing feature of the human eye is simply its color. Can it really change for no apparent reason? In most people, the answer is no.
- Eye color fully matures in infancy and remains the same for life.
- But in a small percentage of adults, eye color can naturally become either noticeably darker or lighter with age.
- What determines eye color is the pigment melanin.
- Eyes that have a lot of it in the connective tissue at the front of the iris, called the stroma, are darker, while those that have less tend to be lighter.
The levels of melanin generally remain the same throughout life, but a few things can change them permanently. The first is a handful of ocular diseases like pigmentary glaucoma. Another is a condition called heterochromia, or multicolored eyes, which affects about 1 percent of the population and is often caused by traumatic injuries.
- An example of this can be seen in the rock star David Bowie, who attributes his contrasting eye colors, hazel and light blue, to a blow to the face as a child.
- The third cause appears to be genetics.
- A study in 1997, for example, looked at thousands of twins and found that 10 percent to 15 percent of the subjects had gradual changes in eye color throughout adolescence and adulthood, which occurred at nearly identical rates in identical twins.
THE BOTTOM LINE – Eyes can change color in some people because of genetics or injury. ANAHAD O’CONNOR Really? [email protected] : The Claim: Eye Color Can Change as We Age (Published 2005)
Why do brown eyes see better?
Those with darker colored eyes experience less visual discomfort in bright, sunny conditions. Also, darker irises reflect less light within the eye, reducing susceptibility to glare and improving contrast discernment —so people with darker eyes may have better vision in high-glare situations, such as driving at night.
What eye color is considered most attractive?
When broken down by gender, men ranked gray, blue, and green eyes as the most attractive, while women said they were most attracted to green, hazel, and gray eyes. Despite brown eyes ranking at the bottom of our perceived attraction scale, approximately 79% of the world’s population sports melanin-rich brown eyes.