Your College Photograph Predicts Your Future Success

12/09/2010
Reprinted from the Lexis Nexis Communities
12/09/2010

Psychologists at the University of Toronto and Tufts University say that people with powerful looking faces will be more profitable and that one's career success can be predicted as much as 30 to 40 years earlier simply by looking at their face.

Professor Nicholas Rule of the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto, is the lead author of a new study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science. "This includes clothing, posture, and hairstyles, but the real window to judging people is the face. We developed a method to measure facial power and found that it is a strong predictor of law firm profitability."

The ratings of perceived dominance from photos of managing partners were correlated with the profits of the leaders' respective law firms; the findings were positively associated with one another, both for the judgments made from current photos and those made from college yearbook photos of the same people. Just think about the cute notes in your college yearbook. What if someone who predicted your success actually had the talent to read your face?

The psychologists studied only lawyers, but say the same principles apply to all people and industries. So, does this mean that we are trapped by our DNA, by the faces that nature provided us with at birth? Where does active will come into play? Oh, I'm sorry, this sounds just too much like my college philosophy class.

But, think about this for selecting your next law firm leader. Think about this for jury selection. The applications are endless ... if true.

For more, see the findings presented in a paper titled "Judgments of Power from College Yearbook Photos and Later Career Success", published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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