The old saying “can’t judge a book by it’s cover” may turn out to be false when it comes to men and intellect.

A research team in the Czech Republic found that people have an innate ability to tell how intelligent a man is just by looking at him.

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The researchers found people were able to correctly identify intelligent men by their face shapes (Image via Plosone.org).

According to Pacific Standard, the results of the new study “suggest that a perceiver can accurately gauge the real intelligence of men, but not women, by viewing their faces in photographs,” writes a research team led by Karel Kleisner of Charles University in Prague.

The research team was admittedly baffled as to how we do it – and they say it does not appear to be based on symmetry of the facial features, according to the Daily Mail.

The study featured 160 participants who looked at static facial photographs of 80 Czech university students (40 men and 40 women) to test the relationship between measured IQ, perceived intelligence, and facial shape. The images were close-ups of the students’ faces, which featured a neutral, non-smiling expression, and were devoid of jewelry and cosmetics, according to Pacific Standard.

The scientists found both men and women were able to accurately evaluate the intelligence of men by viewing facial photographs.

The faces which the test subjects perceived as highly intelligent were prolonged, with a broader distance between the eyes, a larger nose, a slight upturn to the corners of the mouth, and a sharper, pointing, less rounded chin.

By contrast, the perception of lower intelligence was associated with broader, more rounded faces with eyes closer to each other, a shorter nose, declining corners of the mouth and a rounded, larger chin.

“These results suggest that a perceiver can accurately gauge the real intelligence of men, but not women, by viewing their faces in photographs; however, this estimation is possibly not based on facial shape,” the researchers stated.

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The researchers found a “halo effect” of attractiveness clouded participants’ judgement (Image via Plosone.org)

Women, however, are still mysterious as ever. The researhers say this could be due to the fact attractiveness clouds the judgement.

“Another option is that women are pervasively judged according to their attractiveness,” the study reads. ‘The strong halo effect of attractiveness may thus prevent an accurate assessment of the intelligence of women.”

The study, titled “Perceived Intelligence Is Associated with Measured Intelligence in Men but Not Women,” suggests “the ability to accurately assess the intelligence of other persons finds its place in everyday social interaction and should have important evolutionary consequences.”

The team said their results revealed no relation between intelligence and either attractiveness or face shape, and that gender influenced the accuracy of intelligence assessment. “Men were more accurately assessed for intelligence than women, while women were more accurate at assessing the intelligence of both men and women,” the study states.

Sounds like women have the upper hand in both assessing intelligence and hiding it. Watch out men.

(H/T: The Daily Mail)

Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter.

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