Spot the Fake Smile: Fun Test That May Surprise You

Spot the Fake Smile: Fun Test That May Surprise You

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.¬† ‚ÄúTheir 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.‚ÄĚ

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.¬† ‚ÄúMost 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.‚ÄĚ

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.

Facial Recognition and Emotional Intelligence

I have quite a few of my doctoral students who are working on their dissertation on emotional intelligence.¬† In our book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I include a chapter about emotional intelligence.¬† When I wrote my dissertation on the relationship¬†between emotional intelligence and sales performance, I found one book to be particularly useful in explaining the different models.¬† If you are researching emotional intelligence, I would suggest reading:¬† Emotional Intelligence:¬† Key Readings on the Mayer and¬† Salovey Model.¬†¬† I think another very interesting and useful thing to read on the topic is this article by Mayer, et al,¬† Human Abilities: Emotional Intelligence.¬† It has some very comprehensive information about emotional intelligence, the difference approaches and measurement techniques, as well as what it does and does not predict. No list of important reading in the area of emotional intelligence would be complete without mentioning Daniel Goleman’s book as well . . . See:¬†Emotional Intelligence:¬† Why it Can Matter More than IQ.

One of my students is looking into adding the facial recognition aspect to her studies.¬† If you missed my blog about¬†taking facial recognition quizzes, click¬†here.¬†¬† For those of you who have seen the TV show Lie to Me, they have some interesting research they tie into that show about facial recognition.¬† Dr. Paul Ekman’s work ¬†was the inspiration for this show.¬† On his site, he discusses¬†whether you can be like the show’s¬†character Cal Lightman.¬† Ekman does a review of the show on a blog where he points out what is based on truth and what is not.¬†¬† Eckman has produced some courses for facial recognition called¬†the Microexpression Training Tool or METT and the Subtle Training Expression Tool¬†SETT.¬† Click here for more information.¬† To find out more about Dr. Ekman’s books, including one he wrote with the Dalai Lama,¬†click here.