Dating poor economy
Indeed, there are studies that suggest that our ability to convey emotions via facial expression—and to interpret them—evolved throughout time and became important skills in predicting behaviour.While disconcerting, the results are a step towards progress, says Rule.The study found that faces people associated more strongly with positive traits such as attractiveness and empathy were more often labelled wealthy.To be sure, in all the photos taken in the controlled lab setting the subjects appear quite glum—but the wealthy just looked a little less so. Part of the study involved asking people to guess incomes while only seeing parts of a subject’s face—the mouths rather than eyes were the strongest, most accurate indicators of wealth.By the same token, those who are deemed richer—because they seem happier or more attractive—may be given opportunities and treated better as a result of their perceived wealth and the positive traits we seem to associate with it.
Those asked to categorize the photo subjects by income level were accurate 68 per cent of the time in the first study and 52 per cent of the time in the second, more controlled set, even when given only split seconds to make their choice.Gordon Patzer, author of The Physical Attractiveness Phenomena, who studies the power of beauty on perception, says that the prevalence of social media—like Facebook or Tinder—will only continue to make faces a key way we evaluate our peers (and strangers).“We rely so much on photos on social media…I would have to speculate that [we’re putting] more and more importance on a person’s image all the time.” At the heart of peoples’ correct guesses in the study is the stereotype that the rich are happier due to their less arduous childhoods and lifestyles, and vice versa for the poor.All it took to skew the accuracy of participants in their exercise was to categorize images of smiling people—a grin erased any cues people could use to make their choice. Your mom might’ve always said ‘if you make a funny face, it’ll stay that way.’ There’s a kernel of truth in that, it turns out,” says Rule.The face has 43 muscles and they’re no different than the other muscles in your body—the more you work them out, the larger they’ll get.
If perceived wealth and our feelings towards class can affect hiring decisions, then perhaps hiring managers need to be trained accordingly.