Does Hair Color Affect Perception of Intelligence?

4.1 based on 90 ratings

Updated on Nov 19, 2012

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

Sofia PC is currently a college student with a deep interest in science who is aspiring to become a writer. She writes about all sorts of things across all subjects including, but not limited to; science, crafts, and fashion. She hopes to become a good writer so she can share her thoughts and experiences with the world and future generations.

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