What Clues Do People Use to Guess One Another’s Ages?

If you'd like people to think that you're younger than you are, consider adding contrast to your face. The contrast in color and tone between human facial features and the skin around them decreases as we age. Skin becomes less luminous, lips lose their redness, and even eyebrows become lighter. And although we aren't consciously aware of it, our brains notice the amount of contrast and use it to guess a stranger's age. In one study, participants looked at images of people, some of which had been enhanced to increase contrast, and universally guessed that the people in the enhanced images were younger than they actually were. The findings appear to validate the use of cosmetics, which are often applied to provide increased contrast.

Face the facts:

  • The human face has 43 muscles, which can be used to make 10,000 unique expressions.

  • It is nearly impossible to fake a smile because the muscles around your eyes involuntarily form crow's feet only during a real smile.

  • Studies have shown that facial expressions are universal; they are part of our genetic makeup, not something we learn.

Follow wiseGEEK:

More Info: Science Daily

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?



Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

The term "time immemorial" originally referred to the time before Richard I became King of England in July 1189.  more...
December 7 ,  1941 :  Japanese bombers attack Pearl Harbor.  more...