Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Fake smile

Yesterday I stumbled upon the BBC Science website and did a test to determine if I could tell the difference between fake and genuine smiles (I could - 80% of the time). Today similar tests are in the news because, surprisingly, men were better than women at picking fake smiles. The papers say this makes a "myth of female intuition". Maybe. Or maybe (the devil's advocate says) men have more insincere relationships than women, so they have more experience detecting fake smiles. Or maybe not. Whatever. Doing the test was fun.

There's information on Baron-Cohen's male-female brain theory and how it might relate to autism here.

The smile in my blog photo, by the way, is genuine.



  • I wonder about the smiles you misidentified, were they all the sam type ?

    I misidentified 3 smiles, all real and I clamed they were false, but then I am a paranoid male.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 16, 2005 12:15 am  

  • I'm not sure what it says about me but the four smiles I misidentified were all actually fake and I claimed that they were real.

    By Blogger Anne, at April 16, 2005 2:41 pm  

  • Anne, I only got 11/20. :-(

    By Anonymous Somali, at April 20, 2005 5:28 pm  

  • I got 16/20, so the same as you. I read some of one of Paul Eckman's books, though, so I knew about the musculature differences they talk about after you take the test. Did you just stumble on this site, or had you seen/read some of the research before you took the test?

    By Anonymous MarkTAW, at April 29, 2005 8:35 pm  

  • I did just "StumbleUpon" the BBC Science Human Body and Mind site, but I before I did the fake smiles test did the much longer Sex ID test. There was a really cool section in that test where I was presented with a picture of a person's eyes, and a choice of four words to describe their emotions. I did quite well on that test (better than the averages for men and for women), indicating that I am quite empathetic, whereas an autistic person would probably perform quite poorly. THIS was actually more interesting to me than the fake smiles, but I couldn't find a short test anywhere to replicate it.

    I'm also convinced that your ability to accurately choose a word to describe another person's feelings says a lot more about you than your ability to detect a fake smile.

    By Blogger Anne, at May 01, 2005 5:00 pm  

  • I got 19/20, and I'm also a 'paranoid male' who suspects(?) he gets lied to a LOT!

    I fouled up on the guy with the spiky hair (No.6).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 03, 2005 5:28 am  

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