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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Glasses clearly hamper romance
Girl tries on glasses
Young people favour glasses over contact lenses
It is said boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses - and now the scientists agree.

Academics studying nightclubbers have found an individual's "pulling power" increases by up to 400% if they ditch their spectacles.

Psychologists at the University of Warwick instructed 38 volunteers, all aged 18 to 26, to find a partner at a London nightspot.

The study was aimed at exploring attitudes to eyewear after a recent drop in use of contact lenses among young people.

Sven-Goran Eriksson wears glasses
Glasses help when you're going for a big job
Health psychologist Dr June McNicholas said: "We took a busload of short-sighted partygoers to a prestigious London nightclub with strict instructions to go and pull."

Dr McNicholas said it appeared the long-standing belief that glasses are unattractive was still prevalent.

"People prefer to leave their glasses behind in some contexts, particularly socially," Dr McNicholas said.

"In other contests, such as job interview, glasses are an advantage."

The male and female volunteers were split into three groups.

Increased self-confidence

One group was ordered to wear their usual form of eye correction, the second to swap from contact lenses to glasses and the third from glasses to contact lenses.

"Changing methods of eyesight correction proved to have a far-reaching effect on the volunteers' feelings of self-confidence - 85% of those that had switched to contact lenses reported increased self-confidence," said Dr McNicholas.

"By comparison, not one of those that had switched to glasses said the same.

"On the contrary, 75% of them complained of feeling less confident.

It is one of those rare cases when science and fun can come together

Dr June McNicholas

"Along similar lines, the study found that feelings of 'pulling power' significantly correlated with eyesight correction - 50% of those who'd changed from glasses to contacts reported a definite increase in their abilities.

"On the other hand, 80% of those who wore glasses on the night felt less able to attract a mate."

Dr McNicholas, 46, said she had been surprised at the "robustness" of the findings given the growing use of spectacles as fashion accessories by celebrities and pop stars.

She said the research in a nightclub gave a more honest finding than simply studying pictures in a laboratory.

"It is one of those rare cases when science and fun can come together," she said.


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29 Jan 02 | Health
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