Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Smile Test: Can You Spot the Fake?

Image from Delivering Happiness website

Hello Optimists,

Can you see tell whether someone's smile is genuine or fake?

That's the question that researchers at the BBC want you to answer by taking their Smile Test.

I first found out about this cool little activity from an article posted by Delivering Happiness, where they shared that the science of smiling has been researched since 1860. Pretty cool.

If you have a few spare minutes, take the 20-question Smile Test to really see if you've got what it takes to spot a true grin. Each question has an accompanying video of a person smiling, so you can really "experience" the gesture and make a decision on whether it's real or fake. You'll be surprised at how difficult it can be!

After you've completed the test and get your results, the BBC provides you with some great information to further assess and improve your ability to spot a genuine grin.

Here's a piece of the assessment that I pulled from my own results; I found the information really intriguing, and though you might like to read it too.
Fake smiles can be performed at will, because the brain signals that create them come from the conscious part of the brain and prompt the zygomaticus major muscles in the cheeks to contract. These are the muscles that pull the corners of the mouth outwards.
Genuine smiles, on the other hand, are generated by the unconscious brain, and so they are automatic. When people feel pleasure, signals pass through the part of the brain that processes emotion. As well as making the mouth muscles move, the muscles that raise the cheeks – the orbicularis oculi and the pars orbitalis – also contract, making the eyes crease up, and the eyebrows dip slightly.
We know how important smiling is, but just as important is our ability to spot the real deal. I hope you hop on over to the site and test out your smile-spotting skills.

Report back here with the results!   :D   (Just for the record, that one's a real smile!)

Keep Smiling (genuine smiles),


  1. Interesting! Difficult as well because I feel sure as an optimist one has to offer a fake smile from time to time. :)
    Have a good Christmas and I look forward to following you in 2012.

  2. This is great. I just RT a blog post i wrote awhile back about CEO's,bosses getting REAL with their employees. Brought up the fake smile. It is horrible. Had an owner who did it all the time. So Fake. Thanks again.


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