A new study suggests one can tell a person’s socioeconomic status by their body language.
Wired PR News.com – A new study proposes that a person’s wealth can be determined by studying their body language. As reported on LiveScience.com, individuals who fall into higher socioeconomic brackets appear ruder in conversation.
The study, published in the Psychological Science journal January issue, was conducted by examining the body language of 100 undergraduate students as they participated in one on one interviews. In students who were of a higher socioeconomic status, gestures that sent signs that they were uninterested in the other person, such as playing with nearby objects, grooming, and other behaviors deemed impolite, were prevalent. In students who were of a lower socioeconomic status, signs that they were more interested in the conversation, such as nodding their heads and laughing, occurred at higher rates.
The researchers are noted in the report to attribute the behaviors to animalistic tendencies. Michael Kraus, a psychologist who co-conducted the study, is quoted as stating, “In the animal world, conflict arises when you’re battling for status. So it’s adaptive for us to avoid those conflicts and tell us we know ‘I’m higher status than you, so don’t bother having a conflict with me… Lower SES people have fewer resources, and by definition should be more dependent on others.”