Have you ever wondered if that smile someone flashed you is sincere? You might want to check out some research on the BBC Science site. “Their experiment is designed to test whether you can spot the difference between a fake smile and a real one. It has 20 questions and should take you 10 minutes. It is based on research by Professor Paul Ekman, a psychologist at the University of California. Each video clip will take approximately 15 seconds to load on a 56k modem and you can only play each smile once.”
I took the test and only got 14 out of 20 correct. According to this research, I am not alone in having difficulty spotting the fake smiles. “Most people are surprisingly bad at spotting fake smiles. One possible explanation for this is that it may be easier for people to get along if they don’t always know what others are really feeling. Although fake smiles often look very similar to genuine smiles, they are actually slightly different, because they are brought about by different muscles, which are controlled by different parts of the brain.”
If that is the case, I guess getting a 70% is that bad. I personally found one of the smiles to be a little disturbing. I noticed that I did get that one correct. Click here to take the Spot The Fake Smile Test.