BERLIN (Reuters) - Blondes perform intelligence tests more slowly after reading jokes playing on their supposed stupidity, said psychologists in a newly published German study.
Some 80 women of various hair colors were tested on their mental capacity to work quickly and precisely in a series of psychometric tests. Before sitting the tests, half the participants had to read "dumb blonde" jokes, such as:
"Why do blondes open yogurt pots while still at the supermarket? -- Because it says 'Open Here' on the lid."
"No blonde woman believes she is stupid," said Jens Foerster a social psychologist from the International University Bremen in northern Germany on Wednesday.
"But after exposure to negative social-stereotypes about them, the fair-haired participants performed significantly more slowly in the tests."
Foerster explained the result by saying that when people are told they can't perform a task well, they work more slowly but more cautiously, to try to make fewer mistakes.
"The study shows that even unfounded prejudices generally dismissed as untrue can affect an individual's confidence in their own ability," said Foerster.