It doesn’t take brains to look intelligent, possums…just put on a pair of large, blue-framed spectacles

There is surprisingly little scientific evidence about how spectacles change the way in which people are seen — as opposed to how they see — but what there is seems to correlate with the Hollywood idea that the quickest way to turn an actor into a scientist is to make him wear a pair of unflattering specs.

It may even help the actor to get into the part: a study found that people felt more competent and scholarly when asked to complete tasks while wearing glasses, compared to doing it without them, says Carolyn Mair, a reader in psychology at the London College of Fashion.

Exactly what type of specs do this best is harder to ascertain, given the lack of academic research. But studies of fashion more broadly suggest that a traditional shape in a neutral colour is probably best for someone who wants to convey an air of professional competence.

Read more in The Times