Your Smile Can Gives You Away

Smiling can decrease your odds of success against the same opponent in subsequent matches


Smile and the world smile with you is part of an old saying. But it’s not necessary always. A new study by the USC Institute for Creative Technologies and sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory suggests that smiling can decrease your odds of success against the same opponent in subsequent matches.

According to this study, people who smile during victory have increased the odds of their opponent. They were found as acting aggressively to steal a pot of money rather than share it in future gameplay.

In contrast, people who smiled during a loss found as helping the odds of success in the game going forward.

The study correlates with a previous study whose main interest in how people express these tells an unconscious action that betrays deception. Then this data was used to create artificial intelligence to discern and even express these same emotional cues as a person. And that emotion is the way of assigning a value to the thing.

During the study, 370 participants played a version of the British television game show Golden Balls. They decided to split or steal a pot of money. If participants chose to split, they then need to split the pot. For example, if one player chooses to split with the other stealing, the latter gets the whole thing. If both choose to steal, neither wins.

As participants played the game against each other on video Skype, scientists captured and encoded their emotions by using an emotion-tracking software.

Similarly, Gratch co-authored with ICT senior research associate Gale Lucas to conduct a study. In this study, participants have often misread honesty while negotiating with each other.

Gratch then cooperated with the USC Marshall School of Business to incorporate virtual humans that can understand these types of nuances into the study of negotiation. The Institute for Creative Technologies also works with agencies like the U.S. Army to use virtual humans in negotiation scenarios.


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