Study shows smiling makes you look older, unless you’re old already

December 03, 2021

Older man, smilinh, Photo by Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels)

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels)

Smiling makes you look older, according to research by neuroscientists at Western and Ben-Gurion University in Israel. But if you’re already over 60, smiling doesn’t appear to change the way your age is perceived.

Melvyn Goodale, founding director of Western’s renowned Brain and Mind Institute, and professor in Psychology, and his collaborator Tzvi Ganel from Ben-Gurion devised a study that furthered their previous research showing that smiling could make people appear to be one or two years older than if they keep a straight face.

“Faces contain an amazing number of social cues. Among the many critical dimensions that people readily extract from faces, age is often considered as primary,” said Goodale. “Accurate identification of a person’s age is crucial for understanding social roles and determining the nature of social interaction.”

In the new study, published today in Scientific Reports, participants were shown hundreds of photographs of faces of people between 20 and 80 years old – either smiling or with a neutral expression – and were asked to estimate age.

Read the full story by Jeff Renaud at Western News