Does Hair Color Affect Perception of Intelligence?

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Author: Sofia PC

Grade Level: 6th - 9th; Type: Behavioral Science


In this experiment, we will investigate whether hair color changes peoples' perception of intelligence.

Research Questions:

People believe in many stereotypes, such as that blondes are dumb. In this experiment, we'll change the hair color of people in photographs in order to see how it affects percpetions of intelligence.


  • Random, clear photos of people of the same race.
  • Image-editing software like Adobe Photoshop
  • Computer and printer
  • Test subjects (the more the better)

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Find some random facial photos of people. Note the original color of the person's hair.
  2. Open an image editing program, like Photoshop, and change the color of the person's hair to brunette, blonde, black, and red. (This guide will tell you how to do this in Photoshop: )
  3. Remember to save a copy of the photo in each hair color.
  4. Do the above for all your photos.
  5. Print the photos out.
  6. Ask your test subjects which person looks smarter in the series. Jot down their answer.
  7. Evaluate which hair color generally got the most recognition for being “smart-looking”.

Suggested Chart


Which Hair Color Was Said To Look the Smartest?

Series #1


Series #2


Series #3


Series #4



Terms/Concepts: Hair color; Intelligence Quotient; Perception

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