Can a Smile Predict Happily Ever After?

We all know a great smile can attract attention, but did you know the crooked little smiles of your childhood may reveal more than just happiness? A study done by DePauw University suggests that the intensity of a person’s smile in childhood photographs, indicated by the existence of crow’s feet around the eyes, can predict how successful their marriage will be as an adult. According to the study, those people whose smiles are weaker in childhood and young adult photographs were more likely to report being divorced by the time they reached middle to old age. In college photographs, 25 percent of those people with the weakest smiles ended up divorcing, as compared with only 5 percent of those with the largest smiles. A similar study done in 2001 by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley found a correlation between the well-being and marital satisfaction of women and how intensely they smiled in senior yearbook photographs. More specifically, scientists tracked women’s smiles from college through their early 50s and found that those with the widest smiles in their senior yearbook photos were more likely to be married by their late 20s, less likely to remain single into middle age, and had the happiest marriages. In accordance with these studies, scientists speculate that a person’s tendency to grin or smile will reflect his or her emotional character. A positive disposition then influences other’s responses to that person which could make them more likely to pursue situations favorable for a happy and lasting marriage.



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