The human mind is programmed to analyze and judge almost anything from people, to items of clothing, songs, food etc. A study was carried out to see if as humans we rate each other by simply looking at facial expressions. Can one look at a picture and judge if someone is cooperative or not? Does one assume that if some one looks like s/he has a high ranking job then s/he is less cooperative?

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Facial expressions have proven to be highly reliable and accurate mirrors of one’s state of mind. The study carried out assumed that the higher the person ranked then the less cooperative other people viewed that person. They carried out different tests on both students as well as Deans, and it was proven that the Deans from the lower ranked schools seemed more cooperative, collaborative and receptive to the students then the Deans from the higher ranked schools.

This study revealed that business people need to be aware that their rank at work might be reflected in their facial expressions. Their facial expressions might also influence the way other people interact with them. This might cause an issue in the business world when building relationships between client and business, as well as business to business.


Chen P, Myers CG, Kopelman S, Garcia SM (2012) The hierarchical face: higher rankings lead to less cooperative looks. J Appl Psychol 97: 479–486

The full study can be found by clicking here.

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