How Good Are You at Spotting Fakes?



photo by strollerdos (via Flickr)

I took a very interesting test recently in which I was shown video of 20 people smiling, and was asked to decipher if I was looking at a genuine smile or a fake smile. I got 17 out of 20 correct. It certainly wasn’t easy, but I think that we are all programmed with pretty good bullshit detectors. We can usually tell if somebody is lying to us, giving us a fake smile, or isn’t genuinely interested in us. This can be a client, a new acquaintance, a cashier, a potential love interest or a customer service agent. And we don’t need to see their faces to tell if someone truly cares or if they’re just going through the motions. It’s generally very difficult to glean tone via text alone, but it is easy to tell if a person, company or organization is “phoning it in” even in e-mail or social networks. Yes, it will take you longer to respond to people, and to post new information, but take that time to make it genuine. It may seem like you’re accomplishing a lot when you re-post the exact same information across a dozen different networks or to your entire e-mail database. But, I assure you, you are accomplishing less. We can tell you don’t care about us. We can tell you’re not treating us special. We can tell you’re giving us a fake smile. Take the time to be real and make us feel special.

By the way – TAKE THE TEST


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Janet Berry said,

    I scored 17 out of 20 right as well. It’s really in the eyes, isn’t it?

  2. 2

    Larry DeVincenzi said,

    Not so good… 13 out of 20. #13 scared me!

    Honesty is a good thing…especially if you’re smiling. 🙂

    Great point as it relates to communications too.

  3. 3

    kinggame said,

    1) this is really cool.
    2) I’m really bad at it, 13.
    3) At the start, I predicted I would not exactly be the LeBron James of fake smile spotting, so I feel like that’s a little bit of redemption.

    17? Wow. No more fake smiles when I hang out with you!

  4. 4

    Nick Halo said,

    I got 13 right. Brilliant fun, pretty difficult it turns out. It’s hard to read eyes on video I think…

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