The hidden power of smiling


[Video Link] Ron Gutman, founder and CEO of HealthTap, gave a short TED talk about smiles as predictors of longevity.

I started my journey in California with a UC Berkley 30-year longitudinal study that examined the photos of students in an old yearbook and tried to measure their success and well-being throughout their life. By measuring their student smiles, researchers were able to predict how fulfilling and long-lasting a subject's marriage will be, how well she would score on standardized tests of well-being and how inspiring she would be to others. In another yearbook, I stumbled upon Barry Obama's picture. When I first saw his picture, I thought that these superpowers came from his super collar. But now I know it was all in his smile.

Another aha! moment came from a 2010 Wayne State University research project that looked into pre-1950s baseball cards of Major League players. The researchers found that the span of a players smile could actually predict the span of his life. Players who didn't smile in their pictures lived an average of only 72.9 years, where players with beaming smiles lived an average of almost 80 years.

Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling