A recent study published in the journal of Motivation and Emotion dares to say those who smiled more in school yearbook photos (of all things) stand a better chance of marrying and never divorcing.
Scientists rounded up a random group of adults, thumbed through their yearbooks and rated the intensity of their grin on a scale from 1-10. Once finished, they quizzed each on their marital status and found those in the top 10% (the 10's) were most likely to be still married, where those in the bottom 10% (the scowlers or Blue Steele Zoolanders) were often divorced. They then asked a group of adults who were all over 65 to submit photos of themselves at around the age 10. Again, 11% of the big cheesers were divorced, in contrast to 31% of the stoic posers or frowners.
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We have the sudden urge to stalk our yearbook and photo albums for smile width. Who knew our dorky, embarrassingly toothy grins from grades K-12 would gift us marital bliss?
While, of course, researchers are hesitant to state this as anything more than a statistic in a pool of endless statistics, but instead want this to serve as further proof that big picture information can come from small slices of data.
So what's the correlation of smiling and marital success, though?
Big smiles=happy spouses. Is it really is that simple?
Of course not, but scientists tend to think those who smile more in photos may be a.) generally happier b.) smile more in real life and therefor attract more friends c.) might be more cooperative, as there was likely someone on the other side of the camera barking at them to "SMILE!"
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"I think [our results] go along with a lot of the literature that’s been coming out over the last five to 10 years, which shows that positive emotionality is incredibly important in our lives," study leader Matthew Hertenstein, a psychologist at DePauw University in Indiana said. "There are many, many beneficial outcomes to a positive disposition. It feeds into this idea that what's occurring earlier in our lives in terms of our present situation and our mental state can predict things that occur decades later. Showing the continuity in who we are is really important."
Once a sour puss, always a sour puss. Interesting. We'll store this information for later use.