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Fake Smiles and Women’s Intuition
A study conducted by Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire and the Edinburgh International Science Festival has found that women may not be as intuitive as they think they are. In fact, men may be more intuitive than women. Study participants "were asked to look at ten pairs of photographs showing smiling faces. One of the smiles in each pair was genuine and the other was fake, and people had to spot the genuine smile." You can take this fake-smile test yourself and see how intuitive you are. I only scored 5 out of 10, so I must not be intuitive at all. However, I have a few doubts about the study. First of all, how do they judge the difference between a fake smile and a real smile? In all the sets of photos the people are obviously posing, so what makes one posed smile real and another posed smile fake? Also, I'm not sure how much you can tell about intuition by looking at pictures, because body language, which isn't conveyed in these still images, has a lot to do with intuition.
Categories: Psychology
Posted by Alex on Sun Apr 17, 2005
Comments (31)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
got 7/10, good enough XD
How i watched out for the 'real' smiles is that usually their mouth is wider, they dont' care as much how they look *fake smiles are prettier*, and their eyes shine.
Posted by Yushi  on  Sun Apr 17, 2005  at  07:19 PM
Woohoo, 8/10
I dunno why that pleases me.
Posted by Winona  on  Sun Apr 17, 2005  at  07:38 PM
Yeah, the eyes can tell a lot. I got 8/10.
Posted by joemono  on  Sun Apr 17, 2005  at  07:42 PM
I was thinking I could get a good score on this test. I took it and got 4/10. So, I went back and took it again. I checked the opposite of the ones I had originally selected and thought I'd get a 6/10, but only got a 5. Hm.
Posted by thephrog  on  Sun Apr 17, 2005  at  07:46 PM
I was looking at eyes and I only got 5/10 but that doesn't suprise me because I am a shocking judge of character. My first impressions are almost always wrong and I get taken advantage of a lot. I think it's because I don't want people to think I'm a bitch so I'm nice to everyone. Hmmm, maybe time to change my tactics. This site has taught me a lot....
Posted by Nettie  on  Sun Apr 17, 2005  at  08:02 PM
I got a rock
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sun Apr 17, 2005  at  08:45 PM
Hmmm...must be something in the water. I'm better at judging people by talking to them.
Posted by Smerk  on  Sun Apr 17, 2005  at  09:32 PM
Did anyone wonder why the results page's title in the browser is "Rate Jokes"? Sounds a little fishy.
Posted by Kevin  on  Sun Apr 17, 2005  at  09:48 PM
Narwhal, pirhana, barracuda... sounds a lot fishy
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sun Apr 17, 2005  at  09:56 PM
8 out of 10. Winona, you're my soulmate, definitely 😉

I alreadyy knew I am pretty good at distinguishing friendly "masks" from genuine friendliness.
Posted by LaMa  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  02:44 AM
I'm a girl and got 8/10. I didn't look for the eyes in particular, just thought if the face seemed happy or not.
Posted by corax  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  06:32 AM
I'm a notoriously bad judge of character, especially when it comes to the opposite sex, yet I scored 9/10 and had one that I was uncertain about (the one?). Real smiles are just real smiles, they don't tell you why the person is really smiling, just that they are.
Posted by Neal  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  06:44 AM
I got 7/10. They don't tell you which ones are which, do they?
Posted by Glamcat  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  07:18 AM
I scored 8/10. I went with the wider smiles most of the time. But I agree, how to determine a "genuine" smile?
Posted by Nigel  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  07:23 AM
7/10 and I'm notoriously bad at judging people. I thought everyone hated me. Turns out only most of 'em do.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  07:42 AM
I got an 8 out of 10. Could have done better, but pretty good.
Posted by Reynard Muldrake  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  08:59 AM
I got 6 out of ten simply by choosing the right hand photo each time...not bad.
Posted by Ev  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  01:26 PM
I think they are all fake!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by X  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  01:30 PM
10/10, I must be freakin' psychic. Really, all I did was look at the expression, fake smiles tend to be smaller than "real" smiles, and eye's tend to be less crinkled, at least that's what I assumed going in. I have the worst fake smile, it's like Chandler from Friends.
Posted by ReadbackMonkey  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  02:00 PM
7/10 I suppose it's in the eyes and cheekbones, the cheesier the smile the faker it is
Posted by Silent Fish  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  04:43 PM
6/10... Oh well, better luck next time.
Posted by Mark-N-Isa  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  04:46 PM
Got 9/10, -wish they'd tell me which one was wrong - I'm clueless on that, but I'm with Yushi, the first poster's middle statement, "They don't care as much about how they look".
Posted by stork  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  05:41 PM
4/10. I had absolutely no feeling for which were real and which were fake, so I just guessed. However, I have never claimed to be intuitive.
Posted by Ledasmom  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  05:51 PM
Yeah, well. Internet surveys. Credibility 0.
Posted by Paul in Prague  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  01:34 AM
I did this survey last year when I was actually working for the science festival.
I think I got around eight.

I can't believe that random things I did that were to do with work are turning up here!
Posted by Boo  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  02:13 AM
Well, if you work in the science industry, I suppose you must come across a lot of unusual things, Boo!
Posted by Smerk  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  02:44 AM
Ha, ironically, now I work at an art gallery.
But the science festival was the coolest place to work. Lovely people. Obsessed with doughnuts.

Dr Wiseman's pretty cool. He was a magician before he got his degrees in psychology. He did quite an interesting interactive project on luck last year, where he was trying to see whether being born in a particular month was more likely to make you lucky.
(I explained that really badly)
Posted by Boo  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  03:10 AM
8/10. From my basic studies in psych, it's mostly in the eyes. It's the "squinting" that you watch for. I tried to imagine saying something funny in front of these people and then imagining which reaction would be more likely to come of it. But then again, I could really be saying something stupid and they could be humoring me with a smile. Well I guess that blows my theory to hell...
Posted by Ethan Lee  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  12:23 AM
I scored 3.


I'm seriously worried about how the people in my local pub and bank feel about me now, thoughts I was really popular....hmmmmmm
Posted by JD  on  Tue May 03, 2005  at  10:34 AM
Got a 9/10. The one I missed was very similar and I managed to convince myself that there had to be one that was a setup to catch you.
Posted by Ceredur Crysane  on  Tue Oct 25, 2005  at  02:18 PM
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