People can tell if you're poor from looking at your face, study finds

Jessica Brown@Jessica_E_Brown
Thursday 06 July 2017 09:15
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No matter how smartly you dress or whose names you drop, it's unlikely to convince people you have an abundance of wealth. Why? Because people can allegedly tell if you’re rich or poor just by looking at your face.

According to researchers at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Arts & Science these assumptions could even affect your chances of being hired for a job.

During their study they asked two groups of people – one made up of people earning 50 per cent more than the average income, and the other whose family income fell below average – to pose for a photo with a neutral expression.

They then asked a separate group to decide who looked rich and who looked poor, just by looking at their photos.

Picture: Researchgate.net (Researchgate.net)

These people guessed correctly who was 'rich' and who was 'poorer' with 53 per cent accuracy, which is higher than average.

Associate professor Nicholas Rule said:

It indicates that something as subtle as the signals in your face about your social class can actually then perpetuate it.

Those first impressions can become a sort of self-fulfilling prophesy. It’s going to influence your interactions, and the opportunities you have.

He adds that people aren't aware of how they're judging faces in this way.

What we’re seeing is students who are just 18-22 years old have already accumulated enough life experience that it has visibly changed and shaped their face to the point you can tell what their socio-economic standing or social class is.

There is one small caveat however, the researchers findings only apply to neutral expressions, and not when a person is outwardly expressing emotions.

More: What your Facebook profile picture says about you

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