Scientists have revealed new evidence showing that the success of one’s marriage may depend on their facial expressions on childhood photographs, Parentdish reports
Psychologists at the DePauw University in Indiana, USA, say that it’s possible to predict whose marriage will succeed or fail based on whether they smile or not on old family photos.
People with the brightest smiles are more than three times as likely to have a strong marriage as those who frown their way through family photo albums.
‘Smile intensity predicted whether or not participants will be divorcing at some point in their lives,’ said the researchers. ‘The less intensely participants smiled, the more likely they would be divorced later in life.’
To make the link, the team of experts led by Matthew Hertenstein, Associate Professor of Psychology, asked almost 650 adults for pictures taken during their final year of school and rated the brightness of their smiles. The men and women ranged in age between 21 and 87, with some images being 70 years old.
The scientists then asked the volunteers whether they had ever been divorced and matched the answers with the data on their smiles.
A second experiment, which included pictures taken when people were as young as five confirmed the finding.
Dr. Hertenstein said that it looks like the events that have happened earlier in the lives of people could be predictors of things that would occur decades later. “Showing the continuity in who we are is really important,” the scientist said.
“Smiling individuals may be attracting other people that also feel happy, and this combination could more likely be leading to a greater likelihood of a long-lasting marriage.”
Hertenstein said he has also considered other explanations to this phenomenon, such as the possibility that people who smile for the camera, are more likely to be very sociable and attract more friends, therefore developing a larger support network that makes it easier to keep a relationship healthy.
The study was published in the journal Motivation and Emotion.