TWICE -- in the IDENTICAL POSE -- for two different books.
Disappointingly, Gardiner and Jackson have nothing to say about the personality correlates of metal-grey facetted artificial Tleilaxu eyes.
A pile of cobblersof the paper, it emerges that the 'personality' side of the correlation consists of self-assessments on the five scales of the Five Factory personality model, i.e. it is a pile of cobblers. The Five-Factor model -- mentioned in previous issues of the Riddled Encyclopædia of All World Knowledge -- is a fine example of the 'looking under the streetlamp where there's more light' approach to psych research; the quantities it provides are numbers! which is more important than the fact that they mean two-thirds of SFA. There is a large investment of time, money, egos and people's careers in the FFM so it's not going to go away any time soon.
It also emerges that the authors were only able to obtain their significant association between eye-colour and personality by dividing their
1. Blue eyes are common among Northern Europeans whose ancestors were Tundra-dwelling snowbacks and steppe-hoppers who lived up by the glaciers during the last ice age. In Frost's (2006) theory, these conditions predisposed the ladies of the day to select partners with a novel feature like blue eyes, novelty in a mate being HAWT.*
2. That inhospitable environment also selected for uncooperative personalities and selfish genes (as it were).** In Gardiner & Jackson's words,
expressed it better.
3. The English population preserves that Mesolithic combination of genes, their racial purity unsullied by subsequent migrations and genetic influxes from more happy-go-lucky brown-eyed Mediterranean types. Yes, really.
A blue-eyed disagreeable reviewer might point out that this line of argument fails to link the purported genes of personality directly with those of eye colour, so the two traits might both be elevated in some population by dint of its pristine bloodline but they will vary independently... the covariance can only show up in a comparison with a different population. The theory does not predict the observations and the entire study falls apart as quickly under examination as my excuses for arriving home last night late and tired and emotional.
But the paper did introduce us to Frost (2006) as a theorist on tundra-dwelling mating strategies, and another example of Nominal Determinism in scientific career choice is always welcome.
---------------------------------------------------------* Here Frost was attempting to explain the diversity of eye colours among Europeans, as compared to other ethnic populations, including populations in Asia and Siberia whose ancestors survived a sojourn in equally extreme Arctic conditions and by his theory should have equally diverse eye colours.
** My first thought here was that competition and antagonism are not really survival traits in barely-habitable conditions, where cultures survive because people cooperate; they are luxuries that are only affordable in temperate resource-rich environments. A blogger over at Sciblogs thought the same way. There is probably an evo-psych explanation for why we leaped to the same response; we must be related or something.