Researchers Figure Out What Kind of Smiles Are Most Successful
A new study looks at how to make a successful smile.
Do you have a good smile? It is perhaps our most significant instrument of nonverbal communication that can go a long way in smoothing out social interactions. It is also of interest to scientists who are trying to figure out how our facial expressions affect others. A new study found that there is what's called "a successful smile" - the one that gets the best response.
Researchers, led by Professor Nathaniel Helwig from the University of Minnesota, showed a series of 3D faces generated on a computer to 802 study participants. The faces had slightly different expressions, with variations in the mouth angle, the size and symmetry of the smile, and how much of the teeth you could see.
Here's how the scientists explained what these criteria were (based on the drawing below):
"Mouth angle is the angle between the green and blue lines. Smile extent is the length of the green line. Dental show is the distance between the lower and upper lips."
Definitions of the spatial parameters used in the study. Credit: Nathaniel E. Helwig, Nick E. Sohre, Mark R. Ruprecht, Stephen J. Guy, Sofía Lyford-Pike.
The study's subjects rated the smiles on how effective, genuine and pleasant they appeared as well as what participants thought was the emotional intent behind each smile.
What's perhaps counterintuitive about these new findings is that a "successful smile" does not mean it's the biggest, most teeth-baring, ear-to-ear grin. A smile that is most effective and genuine has to have a balance of teeth, mouth angle and extent to hit what the researchers called "the sweet spot". But within that prescription, there is variation in how those elements are combined. There is not just one way to have a well-received smile.
Smiles that were rated the highest were also developed symmetrically, with the left and right sides of the face synced up in no more than 125 milliseconds. Interestingly, slightly asymmetrical smiles were found to be even more attractive. The same held true for very wide smiles with fewer teeth. Smaller smies, without much of a curve were interpreted by the subjects as contemptuous. Too much smile angle and extent was deemed fake or creepy. A bigger smile isn't necessarily better.
Smile 22 with various amounts of timing (delay) asymmetry.
The researchers hope to use their findings to develop a stronger understanding of how we read the faces of others. The study can also lead to advancements in facial reanimation and reconstruction surgery.
You can read the study in the journal Plos One.
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Christmas has many pagan and secular traditions that early Christians incorporated into this new holiday.
- Christmas was heavily influenced by the Roman festival of Saturnalia.
- The historical Jesus was not born on December 25th as many contemporary Christians believe.
- Many staple Christmas traditions predated the festival and were tied into ancient pagan worship of the sun and related directly to the winter solstice.
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