Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009


Comparing pictures of blind judo athletes in the 2004 Paralympics with sighted ones in the Olympics, a psychologist and a photographer found that gold-medal winners, blind or sighted, were more likely to exhibit genuine smiles, engaging the eye muscles, while silver medalists tended to display stiffer social smiles. Having innate roots for smiling bolsters studies showing that not only does mood drive facial expressions but facial expressions, in turn, can change mood. This is why some psychologists urge depressed or angry patients to smile more.