Fake Smiles

 Posted by on 8 February 2004 at 9:08 pm  Uncategorized
Feb 082004

Can you tell fake smiles from real smiles? I scored 18 out of 20 on the BBC test. Let’s just say that Paul didn’t do so well. (Okay, I confess that’s not quite fair. But it is technically true, as he only got 16 of 20 correct.)

I knew something of Paul Ekman’s research on facial expressions, so I’m not all that surprised by my high score. Nonetheless, the right answers seemed pretty obvious to me in most cases, simply based upon the “intensity” of the smile. (I don’t doubt that such intensity is the product of different muscles being employed in fake versus real smiles, as Ekman’s research shows.) So I wonder what the average score is.

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