Smiling Makes You Look Younger?
Smiling Makes You Look Younger?
May 12, 2017
Press Releases, Social Sciences & Humanities
While conventional wisdom is that smiling makes you appear younger, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have scientifically proven otherwise.
According to the findings, published in the May 8, 2017 edition of Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, the researchers show for the first time that people flashing those pearly whites are perceived as older than those with a deadpan or surprised expression.
“Popular media promotes the idea that smiling makes you look younger,” says Prof. Tzvi Ganel, head of the Laboratory for Visual Perception and Action in BGU’s Department of Psychology. “Look at all of the smiling faces in skincare and dental ads. How many of us post smiling faces on social media?”
The researchers conducted a series of experiments intended to gauge age perception based on facial expressions. Forty BGU student participants were shown images of people and asked to rank them from oldest to youngest. They were shown pictures of smiling faces, neutral expressions and surprised looks. The participants ranked the smiling faces as the oldest, followed by neutral expressions, and surprised expressions as the youngest.
What’s more, when asked to recall their reactions after the experiment, study participants erroneously remembered identifying smiling faces as being younger than neutral ones.
“Ironically, we discovered that the same person can believe that smiling makes you appear younger and judge smiling faces older than neutral ones,” says co-author Melvyn Goodale, director of the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University in Canada.
The researchers believe that smiling makes a person look older because of the wrinkle lines that form around the eyes. A surprised face, however, lifts and pulls the skin backward, smoothing any potential age-related wrinkles.
ABOUT AMERICANS FOR BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY
By supporting a world-class academic institution that not only nurtures the Negev, but also shares its expertise locally and globally, Americans for Ben-Gurion University engages a community of Americans who are committed to improving the world. David Ben-Gurion envisioned that Israel’s future would be forged in the Negev. The cutting-edge research carried out at Ben-Gurion University drives that vision by sustaining a desert Silicon Valley, with the “Stanford of the Negev” at its center. The Americans for Ben-Gurion University movement supports a 21st century unifying vision for Israel by rallying around BGU’s remarkable work and role as an apolitical beacon of light in the Negev desert.
About Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev embraces the endless potential we have as individuals and as a commonality to adapt and to thrive in changing environments. Inspired by our location in the desert, we aim to discover, to create, and to develop solutions to dynamic challenges, to pose questions that have yet to be asked, and to push beyond the boundaries of the commonly accepted and possible.
We are proud to be a central force for inclusion, diversity and innovation in Israel, and we strive to extend the Negev’s potential and our entrepreneurial spirit throughout the world. For example, the multi-disciplinary School for Sustainability and Climate Change at BGU leverages over 50 years of expertise on living and thriving in the desert into scalable solutions for people everywhere.
BGU at a glance:
20,000 students | 800 senior faculty | 3 campuses | 6 faculties: humanities & social sciences, health sciences, engineering sciences, natural sciences, business & management, and desert research.
For all press inquiries, please contact:
James Fattal, J Cubed Communications