Having Larger Pupils May Be a Sign of Intelligence, a Study Shows

Looking at someone in the eye can give you a glimpse of their emotional state, you’ll be able to read signs and discern whether they are happy, sad, or angry. Little did we know that eyes could also be the window to intelligence and tell you about someone’s IQ. As a matter of a fact, a study found that people with large pupils are more intelligent than those with smaller pupils.

Bright Side would like to guide you through this study that we found interesting, and we believe you need to keep scrolling down to find out more.

The purpose of pupils in our eyes.

Pupils are the black dots inside the eyes, their size refers to their diameter and comes generally between 2 to 8 mm, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. When it comes to their function — pupils work along with the iris to regulate the amount of light that passes through the eye to protect the retina — light absorption is actually the reason why pupils look black.

Our pupil size changes from one situation to another.

It has been proven that the size of the pupil may vary from one situation to another. Pupil size reduces with age, and varies due to a change of emotions: some researchers have claimed that your pupil could start dilating once your eyes catch someone attractive.

The study: larger pupils are associated with fluid intelligence.

The research was conducted at the Georgia Institute of Technology on over 500 “18-to-35-year-olds” in the city of Atlanta. The study revolved around 3 major components of cognitive ability: fluid intelligence, attention control, and working memory.

Primarily, fluid intelligence is the art of solving extremely tenacious problems with the knowledge we don’t currently possess. To study the first component, scientists rolled out some specific tests on participants and noticed that people who showed fluid intelligence had a larger pupil size compared to those who failed.

They also looked into other cognitive abilities.

Scientists decided to investigate attention control, which stands for the ability to focus on something regardless of the distractions around. In one of the tests related to attention control, participants had to identify a letter quickly before it disappeared while trying not to look at a flickering asterisk passing by on the screen. At the end of this test, people with larger pupils had better results.

Lastly, participants needed to take tests to measure their ability to remember information after a period of time. The results showed that the working memory was correlated to large pupils but as much as attention control and fluid intelligence.

The reason why pupils are linked to intelligence.

The results of the different tests conducted with participants claimed that pupils are related to intelligence, but what could explain that? According to another study, pupils are connected to the locus coeruleus, a spot in our brain that initiates higher cognitive functions. Essentially, the more functional that spot is, the more dilations may be occurring in the pupils.

What are your thoughts about this study? Do you think you can spot intelligence by looking into people’s eyes?

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