The traditional yearbook, which requires the snapping of photo frozen in time, versus the instant gratification of connecting with a friend online, may actually capture more than originally thought. It may be an indicator of one's personal future, predicting marital happiness or the probability of divorce.
Matthew Hertenstein, professor of psychology at DePauw University, has spent time dusting off hardcopy yearbooks to document a correlation between the art of smiling and the likelihood of hopeful students who may seek the services of a qualified divorce attorney in the future. Hertenstein conveys that those who smiled the least in comparison to those who freely flashed a grin were five times more likely to experience a divorce at some point in their lives. Although the professor’s research may appear a bit “cheesey,” he believed marital status could be defined by the intensity of a smile.
This research was not a groundbreaking concept. As far back as 1860, French scientist, Guillaume Duchenne began studying the mechanics of smiling by using electrical currents to stimulate the facial muscles responsible for evoking a smile. Duchenne’s research exploration gave way to the “Duchenne Smile,” giving rise to FACS (Facial Action Coding System). This coding system now categorizes 3,000 varying facial expressions defined by the exact muscle combination needed to produce them.