Monday, February 8, 2010


Psychologists came up with a new evidence that a successful marriage or a divorce may depend on how much people smiled in old family photographs.

Scientists at DePauw University in Indiana, USA, say that it is quite possible to predict whose marriage will succeed or fail, based entirely on childhood photos from as young as age 5. They found that individuals who smiled a lot as children, were more likely to be happy in marriage as adults, while weak smiles resulted in a divorce.

To come up with this conclusion, the team of experts led by Matthew Hertenstein, an associate professor of psychology in DePauw University, carried out two trials. For the first trial of yearbook pictures, the experts sent an e-mail invitation to approximately 18,000 alumni which resulted in 428 people completing an online questionnaire. Nearly 80 individuals have been removed due to no yearbook photos. The remaining 225 women and 124 men, who graduated between 1948 and 2005, were aged from 21 to 81 years. All photographs for each individual were rated using a smile intensity score from 1 to 10. Scoring was based on the stretch in two muscles: one that pulls up on the mouth, and the other one that causes wrinkles around the eyes. It was revealed that none of the people who hit the highest 10 per cent of smile strength, had divorced, while almost one out of every four smilers within the bottom 10 per cent had had a broken marriage.
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For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at


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