Can You Spot A Fake Smile?

I found this psychology test recently on the BBC science website. A prominent, everyday and recognizable body language behaviour is the smile. Smiles are generally associated with positive communication and can send clear signals about positive states of mind. They can, however, be faked.

Can you spot a fake one?

Click this image to test yourself:

18/20 for me, but I was duped by 2 subjects.. it’s the crow’s feet that got me. Not to worry if you’re a low scorer here, fake smiles don’t necessarily mean something deeply devious is occurring and even when recognized we, for the most part, all accept fake smiles. Even a faked smile can indicate a positive intention.

Book Review: Book of Tells

Book of Tells by Peter Collett is a book based primarily on body language, but also includes some linguistic and vocal insights. This book is best described as an attempt to categorize and catalogue non-verbal communication. It is essentially attempting to isolate and document individual behaviours and their associated meanings. It conceptualizes these distinct behaviours as “tells”. The term “tell” is borrowed from the poker playing sub-culture and popularized in various Hollywood films.

On starting this book, I was surprised to find that the author was a resident psychologist on the TV show Big Brother. I read and reviewed another body language book back in 2009 called Visible Thought – The New Psychology of Body Language. That book was written by a previous Big Brother psychologist who Collett also makes reference to in this book, Geoffrey Beattie. This link between reviews was a pure co-incidence, so I’d like to make […]

Book Review: Visible Thought – The New Psychology of Body Language

Geoffrey Beattie is a respected and well known Psychology Professor based at Manchester University (UK). I first became aware of Geoffrey after seeing him on TV some years ago as the resident psychologist for the UK’s Big Brother series. After some googling I found his book titled Visible Thought – the New Psychology of Body Language (2003).



In reality, I bought the book several years ago around 2006. On my first attempt to read, I got most of the way through the first chapter and rapidly lost interest. The introduction was heavily peppered with Big Brother references and I got the distinct impression that there was some cashing in occurring on Geoffrey’s part, given his new found exposure as the widely renowned Big Brother body language expert. I expected the remainder of the book to essentially re-iterate descriptions of some of the events occurring in Big […]