Washington: Faces of brown-eyed white men make them appear more dominant than their blue-eyed counterparts even when the former`s eye colour is changed, a new Czech study reveals.
For the research, a group of 62 people were asked to look at photos of 80 faces - 40 men and 40 women - and rate them for dominance.
Thereafter, the researchers Photoshopped the faces replacing the brown eyes with blue ones and vice versa.
Now another group of participants were made to rate the altered images for dominance.
Surprisingly, results were the same in both cases - faces of brown-eyed men were rated more dominant than those of blue-eyed men, even when their eyes weren`t brown.
The effect, which didn`t hold for female faces, may have something to do with the shape of brown-eyed men`s faces, according to study researcher Karel Kleisner of Charles University in Prague.
On average, brown-eyed men had broader chins and mouths, larger noses, more closely spaced eyes and larger eyebrows than blue-eyed men.
More mysterious is why eye colour would be so closely associated with facial type, the researchers say.
"It`s really quite a surprising finding and certainly not one I would necessarily [have] expected," Live Science quoted psychologist Benedict Jones of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, who was not involved in the study, as saying.
Jones emphasised on the importance of further researcher to investigate the link to be sure it isn`t "an idiosyncrasy of this particular sample of face images."
Kleiner said the "most elegant" explanation would be that children are treated differently depending on their eye colour, and this treatment leaves a lasting effect on their bodies.
He and his colleagues said: "It is possible that subjects with blue eyes are treated as [small children] for a longer period than brown-eyed children."
The study appears in the July issue of the journal Personality and Individual Differences.