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Can You Distinguish A Real Smile From A Fake Smile? November 20, 2011

Posted by Michael in Science.

Most people can’t, but it’s possible to detect the difference. A real smile is involuntary, involves areas of the brain that are different from a fake smile, and engages different facial muscles that can be detectable.  The picture above is a fake smile.

Take the test here.

I got 14 out of 20. Try to beat me.

(Pay attention to the corners of the eyes, and you will beat me.)


1. Retired Geezer - November 20, 2011

You got 15 out of 20 correct

Mrs. Geezer helped.

2. kevl - November 20, 2011

Another tactic is to simply smile all the time. I smile when I’m getting my ass handed to me at work, which is often.

I’m untouchable. And will probably never make it to management.

3. Jewel - November 20, 2011

16 out of 20. I was surprised to get that many right. I look at the eyes.

4. Mr. Matamoros - November 20, 2011

17 of out 20…much to my surprise. I guessed at quite a few of them but then I also was looking at the corners of the eyes to help me out.

5. Michael - November 20, 2011

I’m untouchable. And will probably never make it to management.

Don’t give up. Your blog has been surprisingly successful, given the effort you put into it.

6. kevl - November 20, 2011

Less is more, Michael.

7. Michael - November 20, 2011

Less is more, Michael.

That’s what I say about my sexual performance.

8. kevl - November 20, 2011

Business socks. That’s what I’m talkin bout.

9. daveintexas - November 20, 2011

*smiles all big and toofy

10. geoff - November 20, 2011


Stupid smiles.

11. Muslihoon - November 20, 2011

17 out of 20

12. Pupster - November 20, 2011

18 of 20

No fair putting the Asian Chick in there.

I was distracted.

13. BrewFan - November 20, 2011

17 of 20 and interestingly I got all the fakes correct. Well, interestingly to me.

14. BrewFan - November 20, 2011

And don’t tell me to slow down WordPress you son-of-a-bitch *smiles*

15. Michael - November 20, 2011

Well, interestingly to me.

Yet another example of Calvinist theology in practice.

16. ChrisP - November 20, 2011

13 of 20, and I was trying to watch the eyes.
Just a sucker for insincerity, I guess…

17. BrewFan - November 21, 2011

Yet another example of Calvinist theology in practice.

I forgive you because I know you were predestined to make that comment because you are totally depraved 🙂

18. daveintexas - November 21, 2011

16 of 20. I’m better at this than I thought I was.

19. OBF - November 21, 2011

16 but I found myself wanting to give the darker complexion people the benefit of the doubt. >>needs a little work on sterotyping<<

You could tell it was a BBC study because of all the bad teeth. Do they not have dentists in the UK's healthcare system?

20. skinbad - November 21, 2011

I thought they all looked fake. I don’t trust limeys.

21. osoloco - November 21, 2011

19 out of 20. I took the hints about eyes and never even bothered to look at the actual smiles.

22. scott - November 22, 2011

I just did the same thing Oso.
The only one I missed was the black guy.

That makes me a racist.

23. beasn - November 22, 2011

18 out of 20. The mousy blonde threw me with the teeny smile and the other dude threw me because he made his face stop too quick. Most of the real smiles had happy eyes to begin with and did a laugh too.

24. wamk - November 25, 2011

17 out of 20

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