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The second best thing you can do with your mouth
January 26, 2011 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Smiles are awesome! But what are they? Which ones make you more attractive? Who fakes them better - and how good are you at spotting a fake one (previously)? Do they spread through social networks? Does smiling make you feel better when you're down? Will they predict you living longer or having a happier marriage? If all else fails, at least a smile might make you better at gambling.
posted by Scarf Face (20 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is this going to be on the test? Is there a point at which enough behavior modification has been conducted that poor outcomes will be avoided?

˙ou ˙q
˙sǝʎ ˙ɐ
posted by nervousfritz at 6:58 PM on January 26, 2011


If all else fails, at least a smile might make you better at gambling.

How low is your life when gambling is the only reason to smile?

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky
you'll get by.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:08 PM on January 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


is that true that professors of economics make better gamblers?
posted by tustinrick at 7:14 PM on January 26, 2011


is that true that professors of economics make better gamblers?

They might beat me in a hand of poker, but I've never seen an economics professor survive the bear wrestling match. Smiles don't really work in that case.

Always gets 'um.
posted by Askiba at 7:30 PM on January 26, 2011


16/20 on the test
posted by unSane at 7:34 PM on January 26, 2011


I just smile to make people nervous.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:39 PM on January 26, 2011


12/20 on the test. They all seemed fake because (a) there was movement in some of the faces before hitting play, which just irks me and makes me feel like I'm being scammed and (b) so many went from smiling to being very flat, which seems fake, and (c) this is a fake situation; we don't encounter isolated smiles that much -- we have context and often verbal cues and whatnot, and can watch post-smile behavior.

God I hate these things.
posted by yesster at 7:57 PM on January 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


what are birds? we just don't know.
posted by oonh at 8:06 PM on January 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


17-20 on the test, for whatever that's worth.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 8:12 PM on January 26, 2011


: )
posted by fuq at 8:35 PM on January 26, 2011


Smile
posted by auralcoral at 8:40 PM on January 26, 2011


I got 18 out of 20, but that's probably only because I've read Paul Ekman before. I was looking at the eyes the whole time and not the mouth.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:38 PM on January 26, 2011


18/20 BITCHEZ
posted by cman at 10:28 PM on January 26, 2011


I ran into this last night. Here's Flip from infochimps.com taking just the non-english character set and extracting a map of unicode characters used -- without really defining the languages used, just grouping alphabets -- the big unifier? A character that looks like a smileyface. (At around 6:20 in this vid.)
posted by Catblack at 10:57 PM on January 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


18 out of 20! The most useful way to tell was which ones made react, "Well FUCK YOU then"
posted by Greg Nog at 5:11 AM on January 27, 2011


As a long time sociopath I have a fake smile that will make your knees weak.

Did I say that out loud?
posted by Splunge at 6:28 AM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Somewhere (radio/internet) yesterday I heard the blurb about sometimes chimps smile for "dominance" - found this article - personally I think both having a good smile and being able to interpret the authenticity of a smile are critical for success... (both of which I am pretty horrible at)
posted by jkaczor at 6:31 AM on January 27, 2011


Chimps bearing their teeth. That's what smiles are, isn't it? And even laughter is, in certain states of mind, almost indistinguishable from chimp chatter.

I didn't do so well on the test (13 out of 20) but I think that's because I was too preoccupied the whole time trying to figure out what precisely they meant by "fake," since everyone in the clips was smiling on cue, which kind of made the whole enterprise seem fake to me.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:02 AM on January 27, 2011


Aww yeah! 20/20! I looked at the eyes, and at the movement of the mouth after the smile. In genuine smiles there's some "smile residue" where you are tempted for a moment to keep grinning and you decide against it. (I don't think that's a technical term though.)
posted by closetphilosopher at 8:09 AM on January 27, 2011


18/20

Totally closetphilosopher, I get this delighted feeling whenever I see someone attempting to wipe a smile off their face or stifle laughter. This feeling was my guide to telling apart the fakes.
posted by tempythethird at 6:34 AM on January 28, 2011


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