Psychologists Michael W. Kraus and Dacher Keltner of the University of California, Berkeley wanted to see if body language can indicate our SES, according to Science Daily. To test this idea, the researchers videotaped participants as they got to know one another in one-on-one interview sessions.
During these taped sessions, the researchers looked for disengagement behaviors ~ fidgeting with personal objects and doodling ~ and for engagement behaviors such as head nodding, laughing and eye contact. The results, reported in Psychological Science, reveal that nonverbal cues can reveal a person's SES.
Volunteers whose parents were from upper economic backgrounds displayed more disengagement-related behaviors compared to participants from lower SES backgrounds. In addition, when a separate group of observers were shown 60-second clips of the videos, they correctly guessed the participants' socio-economic background, based on their body language.
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