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Researchers find 400% Increase in Pulling Power if You Drop Glasses for Contact Lenses

Originally published 27 September 2002

There’s more to the saying “men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses” than meets the eye. Indeed, whether you’re a man or a woman, wearing contact lenses on a night out could increase your chances of ‘pulling’ by as much as four times. This is one of the conclusions of a study carried out by University of Warwick psychology researcher Dr June McNicholas.

“People who need eyesight correction often wonder if there’s any truth in the saying about wearing glasses, so we put it to the test,” said Dr McNicholas. “We took a busload of short-sighted partygoers, aged between 18 and 25, to a prestigious London night-club with strict instructions to go and ‘pull’. And unbeknownst to our ‘guinea pigs’, their every move was monitored by a team of researchers.”

Volunteers taking part in the study were selected on the basis that they normally wore either contact lenses or glasses. For the night itself, they were split into three groups: the first group wearing their usual form of eye correction, the second were asked to swap from contact lenses to glasses and the third from glasses to contact lenses. Each volunteer was also asked to carry out a detailed self-assessment of their physical appearance and self esteem – once prior to the event, once during, and once a few days after.

Changing methods of eyesight correction proved to have a far-reaching effect on the volunteers’ feelings of self-confidence: 85% of those that had switched to contact lenses reported increased self-confidence. By comparison, not one of those that had switched to glasses said the same. On the contrary, 75% of them complained of feeling less confident.

Along similar lines, the study found that feelings of ‘pulling power’ significantly correlated with eyesight correction: 50% of those who’d changed from glasses to contacts reported a definite increase in their abilities. None reported any decrease. On the other hand, 80% of those that wore glasses on the night felt less able to attract a mate.

“Feelings of enhanced “pulling power” and improved self-confidence amongst contact lens wearers translated into tangible results on the night,” said Dr McNicholas. “In fact, this group was over three times more likely to report ‘hugging more, four times as likely to report kissing and contact lens wearers were also six times more likely to report “fondling” more than usual.”

Dr McNicholas said: “These days there are plenty of great designer frames available, and lots of people look good in glasses. Nevertheless, if you need eyesight correction, and you want to improve your ‘pulling power’ on an evening out , it’s worth changing to contact lenses before you go out.”

For further details please contact:
Dr June McNicholas
Dept of Psychology, University of Warwick
024 7652 3759

Richard Simpson or Arlo Guthrie,
CIBA Vision UK
Telephone: 020 7385 2111.

The research was funded by Novartis