Can you tell who will become powerful just by looking at yearbook photos?

Inferences from faces can predict important real-world outcomes. But little is known about the stability of these effects. Here the authors find that inferences of power from photos of the faces of the managing partners of America’s top 100 law firms significantly corresponded to their success as leaders, as measured by the amounts of profits that their firms earned. More interesting, this relationship was also observed when judgments were made based on photos of the leaders taken from their undergraduate yearbooks, before they began their careers or entered law school. Facial cues to success may therefore be consistent across much of the lifespan (approximately 20–50 years).

Source: “Judgments of Power From College Yearbook Photos and Later Career Success” from Social Psychological and Personality Science

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