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Fake Smile With a genuine smile, the eyes' muscles are contracted pulling the cheeks upward and producing wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet). Research by Guillaume Duchenne shows how difficult it is to voluntarily generate a similar action: if such eye contractions are not there, the smile is probably fake. Dr. Paul Elkman research adds other 3 criteria, so we can summarise all of them with the list below:

Eye muscle
In a genuine smile, the eyes' muscles are contracted in a way which produces crow’s feet and pulls the cheeks higher. In a fake one, the eyes' muscles are either relaxed or simply squeezed.

Symmetry
In a genuine smile the face is generally symmetrical.

Smoothness
The onset of a fake smile is often abrupt, the moment of maximum contraction is held too long, and the disappearance is either abrupt or irregular.

Length
Research shows that genuine smiles generally last between 0,5 and 4 seconds.

Ready to test your abilities of fake smile spotting? Take the BBC test and see how much you score!

Comments

Thank you for this great post of "fake smiles"! I referenced your blog on mine.

Thanks Judy! In this very moment I am genuinely smiling.. ;)

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