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Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Date:5/24/2008

Small study says findings may help parents comfort those getting that first pair

FRIDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Children think other youngsters who wear glasses look smarter and are more honest than those who don't wear glasses, according to a U.S. study of 80 children.

In addition, the researchers found that children tend not to judge peers who wear glasses in terms of appearance, potential as a playmate, or likely athletic abilities.

These findings may help comfort children as they're fitted for their first pair of glasses, lead author Jeffrey Walline, an assistant professor of optometry at Ohio State University, suggested in a prepared statement.

"If the impression of looking smarter will appeal to a child, I would use that information and tell the child it is based on research. Most kids getting glasses for the first time are sensitive about how they're going to look. Some kids simply refuse to wear glasses, because they think they'll look ugly," Walline said.

The study included 42 girls and 38 boys, aged 6 to 10. Of those, 30 wore glasses, 34 had at least one sibling with glasses, and almost two-thirds had at least one parent who wore glasses. The study participants were shown 24 pairs of pictures of children. The children in each pair of pictures differed by gender and ethnicity, and each pair of pictures included one child with glasses and one child without glasses.

The children were asked a series of questions about each pair of photos. About two-thirds said children wearing glasses looked smarter than those without glasses, and 57 percent said children wearing glasses looked more honest.

The results suggest the media portrayals that associate glasses with intelligence may be reinforcing a stereotype that even young children accept, Walline said.

The children's answers to other questions about who they'd rather play with, who looked better at sports, who looked mo
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