December 08, 2007

Lies, damn lies, and brain damage

[Posted by Mary, mwa ha ha ha...]

Mary peeks around the door and checks out Cranky Fitness. "Whew! It's empty!"

This is my chance. Crabby's probably still asleep, or something McSlacker like that. So I'm going to sneak in a little post here today. Maybe she won't notice. It's short, but I thought it was cute. (But what do I know? Let me know what you think!)

Can you tell if someone’s giving you a genuine smile or if they’re just politely pretending to laugh at your jokes? Apparently a lot of people can’t tell the difference. It’s true what they say – you can fool some of the people some of the time.

Several studies have demonstrated that people with aphasia have better results at determining when someone is lying judging by their facial expressions. It seems people who do not have brain damage in this area aren't as perceptive.

So how good at you at telling when someone is lying to you? Think you're pretty good, do you? Find out.

Try this test:
Spot The Fake Smile

This test shows you a series of closeups of people smiling. The smiles only last a few seconds, and you can only play back the smile once. Are you able to tell who's really smiling and who's faking it? I averaged about 75%.

Photo courtesy of flickr.


  1. I managed 17/20 and it would have been 18 but one of them I thought was so obviously fake it was a trick, and sure enough it was fake. Drat!

  2. Hmmmn... instead of being too good to be true, the smile was too fake to be fake?

    I still think 17/20 is pretty good, John. I'm impressed :)

  3. The Bag Lady did fairly well, too, except it took so dratted long! (she only has a dial-up connection) She made one mistake when trying to get it to work, so her score was 16/20...
    Fun, though.

  4. What? There's a post here! Did I get up in the middle of the night and post while sleepwalking...

    Hmm, it's too interesting to have been one of mine... Drat, that Sneaky Mary is Raising the bar by posting Real Posts on weekends!

    And you guys are amazing on your ability to spot fake smiles! For some reason it wasn't working when I tried it (she said, smiling fakely... no really, it didn't cooperate.) But I've done a similar one before. This time it kept saying I'd already hit play, when i hadn't, and never showed me the smile.

    Gosh, does this mean a day off from blogging? Hmm... long walks, cupcakes... maybe even clean up the house?

    Thanks Mary!

  5. Oh, now I feel bad about my score! I only got 14 right. I missed two fakes, but thought 4 real ones were fakes - does that mean I am a suspicious person?

  6. I'm with you, Reb :)
    I think it means we're a bit more cynical than the rest. Maybe they were faking it (the test givers) when they said those smiles were genuine?

    looks nervously over her shouldertrust no one...

  7. Okay, okay, the Bag Lady will confess - she was in such a hurry that she cheated on the last 4 and didn't even look at them...she just alternated genuine and fake, and got them all right! She's so damned good at judging character, she doesn't even have to SEE the smiles to know the truth...hmmm, psychic, perhaps!?

  8. Ha ha ha - had ya' goin', didn't she?

  9. 18 out of 20.
    The eyes are a dead giveaway!

  10. I got 16/20. I second guessed myself a couple of times assuming there was trickery afoot. Eh, oh well.

    So, does this mean I have brain damage?

  11. I got half-way through and had to quit. I felt I was invading their privacy somehow. Yeah, I know, so nuts.

  12. Christina, I always second guess myself on these tests -- especially if you can only see the smile once.

    TherapyDoc, I respect your respecting their privacy, if that makes any sense.


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