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How do the wealthy walk? That question, at least as far as how they walk with others, is one addressed by a recent study put out by the University of California-Berkley. They put participants in a room with a video camera and had them interview each other. During the interviews, researchers measured engagement and disengagment behaviors. Engagement behaviors were nodding, smiling, eye contact, and other signs of active listening. Disengagment behaviors were behavirors like doodling and fidgeting. Researchers found that participants from a higher socioeconomic status’ demonstrated more disengagment behaviors and participants from lower socioeconomic status’ demonstrated more engagment behaviors. More interestingly, when other participants were shown the videos, they were able to correctly identify the socioeconomic status’ of the videotaped participants. Assuming that factors like appearence of participants were controlled for, do these finding surprise you? Why?
Association for Psychological Science (2009, February 5). Rich Man, Poor Man: Body Language Can Indicate Socioeconomic Status, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 8, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2009/02/090204121515.htm