Smile Secrets

Tomdelay_1I should never cover politics. I can't distingish a fake smile from a real one.

Take this quick test that the BBC has posted online, based on the research of the University of California's Paul Ekman.

You play 20 videos of people smiling and tell it whether their expressions are natural or not.

I got more wrong than right.

Afterward, it will tell you how to spot the real thing. I won't give the secret away, but it's something to keep in mind.

Posted 12/08/2005 01:54:52 PM

I got 13 right, but my criteria was slightly different from the ones the researchers used, which might explain my measly 65% accuracy rate.

Daniel Rubin
Posted 12/08/2005 02:13:31 PM

What was your criteria? I used hairstyles.

Citizen Mom
Posted 12/08/2005 03:46:49 PM

I got 17 out of 20 right. It's all in the eyes. And crikey, where did they find some of those people? Lawd.

Posted 12/09/2005 06:14:52 AM

Dan, I looked to see whether the face immediately went back to non-smiling mode or if it lingered just a bit around the eyes or lips. Pursing of the lips at the end was a clue for me because the smile wants to continue and the brain is trying to stop, so the lips purse just a big. Also, whether or not the eyes dance. I spent many years in the Midwest where a lot of people have a dry sense of humor and reserved facial and body movements (or maybe it's just my family and friends). To see if someone is joking you often have to look at the eyes not the mouth.

Posted 12/09/2005 08:58:30 AM

I agree with Jane. A lot of it was in how the smile ended, the mouth, and the expression in the eyes. I got 15 out of 20 right and seriously, where DID they find some of these people? Especially that guy with the Frankenstein head and the vampire teeth?

Posted 12/09/2005 04:29:03 PM

15/20 and yes, WOW. Great find.

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