Say “Cheese” for a Good Marriage

According to a study by scientists at DePauw University in Indiana, people who frowned a lot in photos when they were kids and teenagers are five times more likely to get divorced later in life than those who smiled in their photos. Unlike an earlier study that claimed happiness is “contagious,” the authors in this case don’t argue that smiling for photos causes a good marriage, but rather that smiling and a lasting marriage are somehow correlated. Good thing — otherwise, a zit would be the least of a kid’s worries on school picture day. [%comments]

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  1. Caliphilosopher says:

    If the correlation is noted, then the title of this post is easily misinterpreted as a case of saying “cheese” in order to have a good marriage.

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  2. asm says:

    Uh oh, I just got married, now I’m frantically looking through my old photographs to see how often I smiled. Do baby pictures count? I was always smiling in those.

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  3. frankenduf says:

    do phony smiles count?- oh wait- say cheese…

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  4. jakob says:

    the correlation could very well be that a person who smiles in photos is very concerned with being perceived as happy , and that is why that same person won’t file for divorce later on in life. to keep up that perception of themselves as a happy, untroubled person.

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  5. jeff says:

    Smiling in a staged photo occurs because the smiler smiled when the photographer told them to. Isn’t the key to staying married doing what you’re told?

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  6. AudPai says:

    To borrow from my battered sociology textbook, to the statistically ominous, you’re a person, not a number. They are observations, not fate itself.

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  7. Jesse says:

    Perhaps because those who smiled more in early photos had a more consistently positive childhood? (or at least a generally positive attitude through it all?)

    When a smile is expected, a frown is a signal that (whether in that moment or in general) not all is right with their world. Could be something as minor as feeling uncomfortable with how their smile looks to others – or could be something major in their life. If this is an ongoing pattern in their early life, of course it could affect their later relationships.

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