Apparently, "resting rich face" is an actual thing.
Forget not judging a book by its cover — a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has found that people can guess if someone is rich or poor facial features. Do you have "resting rich face"?
Researchers from the University of Toronto asked student volunteers from different classes to pose for photos with neutral faces, reports the World Economic Forum. Then they asked a separate group to look at the photos and guess which ones were rich or poor based on their faces.
The researchers found that the students were more or less able to guess which students belonged to the rich or poor group at a rate that showed that it wasn't just by chance.
And because people treat you differently based on their impressions of you, these impressions become self-fulfilling prophecies, the researchers say.
"It's going to influence your interactions, and the opportunities you have," says researcher Thora Bjornsdottir, a graduate student.
For example, recruiters are more likely to hire applicants with "rich" faces rather than those with "poor" ones. (If this sounds terrible, it's because it is, but researchers say that people aren't aware of the cues they're using when making judgements.)
Researchers say that "lifelong habits of expression" become a permanent part of a person's face. For example, if you're frequently happy (an emotion linked to wealth), that shows on your face. And if you've grown up with "arduous experiences," that will show on your face.
"Over time, your face comes to permanently reflect and reveal your experiences," says Nicholas Rule, an associate professor. "Even when we think we're not expressing something, relics of those emotions are still there."
Luckily, there is a way to mask these facial "clues". Researchers found that the ability to read someone's social class only applies to their expressionless face.
Once someone smiles or shows emotions, people can no longer tell whether someone is rich or poor based on facial features. So just to be safe, during your next interview, go on and flash those pearly whites. A smile might just make the difference between getting hired or not.
What do you think of this study? Do you have a resting rich face?
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