Thursday, June 18, 2009

Spot the Fake Smile

Daniel H. Pink's A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future is a very interesting book. In the book, Pink defines six senses: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. For each sense, Pink backs each one up with a chapter and a portfolio. In the portfolio, Pink gives suggestions on how to develop the sense. He also provides books and web sites where you can try and experiment yourself.

After reading the chapter on Empathy, I decided to experiment and learn how to "Spot the Fake Smile." I took a ten-minute, twenty-question test to see if I could determine a fake smile against a real smile.

Before taking the test, I thought it would be simple to detect a fake smile. However, once I started watching the videos, I saw that the test wasn't going to be so easy. While watching some of the videos, I saw that some were obvious but others, not so much. In the chapter Empathy, Pink gives advice by saying that the only way to detect a fake smile, is by looking at the eyes, and I do believe that. Watching the eyes instead of the smile, sometimes, did give me my answer. Here is a video where the eyes gave the answer away:

This video shows that the smile was fake, partially because of the eyes.
Here are more examples of fake and genuine smiles:
When I watched some of the videos that were hard to determine, I started thinking that sometimes I would only be able to tell if someone was faking a smile only if I really knew them. For instance, I can definitely tell when my sister has a fake smile and when she doesn't just because I know her and her personality, as goes for some of my friends. Watching these people on the videos, however, I had no clue what their names were or what their personality was like. So, for me, I think determining what kind of smile a person is giving you has to deal with whether you know them or not.

No comments: