Study shows link between body language and socioeconomic status (SES). – Researchers at UC-Berkeley used videotaped sessions of various people in one-on-one interviews to confirm their hypothesis that people use nonverbal cues to communicate their SES.  These behaviors included disengagment behaviors, such as doodling and fidgeting, and engagment behaviors, such as eye contact, head nodding, and laughing.  Their results showed that individuals from higher SES groups displayed more disengagment behaviors, and that observers were able to identify the SES of study participants after looking at 60 second clips of their interviews.  The researchers surmised that wealthy folks depend on others less, something which is reflected in their nonverbal communication. 

Here’s the journal reference:  Kraus et al. Signs of Socioeconomic Status: A Thin-Slicing Approach. Psychological Science, 2009; 20 (1): 99 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02251.x   The Science Daily report is here.  A PsychCentral commentary is here.