One of the most popular TED Talks in the past few years was delivered by Ron Gutman and called ‘The Hidden Power of Smiling.’ Mr. Gutman uses his time to discuss a longitudinal study performed by the University of California, Berkeley in which researchers attempted to predict a variety of future outcomes, all based solely on pictures of smiles found in yearbooks. Mr. Gutman claims that researchers tried to measure their success and well-being throughout their life, including:
- The fulfillment and length of a marriage
- The scores on standardized tests of well-being
- The power to inspire other people
Other researchers looked at the smiles on baseball cards from before 1950, noting that the span of a players smile could help predict the span of his life, as well. According to the study, players who smiled on the cards actually ended up living longer.
Mr. Gutman went on to note that more than 1/3 of the population smiles more than 20 times a day, while children often smile more than 400 times per day, leading to lower levels of cortisol, a common stress hormone.
Ron Gutman gives many reasons to smile during his talk, highlighting the many benefits of smiling, both on our attitudes and our outcomes.
Take a look at the video to watch the entire talk:
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