If you have “resting bitch face” you may be rich. Just take Victoria Beckham for example.
The study split subjects ages 18 to 22 into two groups — those with total family incomes under $60,000, and those with incomes above $100,000. The individuals then had to pose for pictures without expressing any emotion at all. A separate group of subjects was asked to look at the faces and decide whether they were rich or poor. All were able to guess peoples finances correctly with roughly 53 percent accuracy, which is “above random chance.”
“Over time, your face comes to permanently reflect and reveal your experiences,” says study co-author Nicholas Rule. “Even when we think we’re not expressing something, relics of those emotions are still there.”
“People are not really aware of what cues they are using when they make these judgments,” says study co-author Thora Bjornsdottir. “If you ask them why, they don’t know. They are not aware of how they are doing this.”
The study was designed to be able to tell more about social classes.
“Further investigation showed that perceivers categorize social class using minimal facial cues and employ a variety of stereotype-related impressions to make their judgments,” reported the study. “Of these, attractiveness accurately cued higher social class in self-selected dating profile photos. However, only the stereotype that well-being positively relates to wealth served as a valid cue in neutral faces. Indeed, neutrally posed rich targets displayed more positive affect relative to poor targets and perceivers used this affective information to categorize their social class. Impressions of social class from these facial cues also influenced participants’ evaluations of the targets’ employability, demonstrating that face-based perceptions of social class may have important downstream consequences.”
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