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19 May, 2004


Can you spot a fake smile?  Take this test at the BBC website.  Note that it involves viewing 20 short video clips, each of which will take ~15 seconds to load via a 56k modem.

I correctly identified 15 of the 20 as genuine or fake smiles.  I judged on instinct rather than knowing to watch for specific visual clues, but as the results page explains, there are observable indications.

The results page also makes a slightly depressing statement:

Most 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.

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