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Can a high school yearbook photo predict divorce?

Many people in Pennsylvania may want to go get their yearbooks off the shelf before getting married. If a new study is to be believed, people intending to get married may want to look at the yearbook photos of themselves and their intended spouses. According to this research, whether the person in the picture is smiling is a predictor of divorce.

The university professor that conducted the study looked at childhood and yearbook photos. He then asked the people in those photos if they were ever divorced. Amazingly, he reported a causal connection between smiling in photos and the probability of getting a divorce.

People who were not smiling in their photos were divorced five times more often than those that did smile. The professor claims that other research regarding smiling and longevity support his findings. People who smile more are less likely to develop negative conditions such as depression, sadness or anxiety.

Even though he is confident in his conclusions, he does not yet know why the correlation exists. He posits that those smiling in the photographs are just happier people in general. Another possibility is that the photo's subject simply followed the instructions of the photographer, suggesting they are more obedient. Happiness and obedience are factors believed to support a strong marriage.

Of course, even people who smiled in high school can get a divorce. Sometimes, marriages simply do not work out. It is possible, however, that having a sunny disposition could help those involved to achieve a more amicable divorce since there may not be a strong need to spend time in a Pennsylvania court in order to reach a fair settlement.

Source: indianapublicmedia.org, Smiling In Photos Predicts The Likelihood Of Divorce, Sylvia Bao and Simon Thompson, Nov. 15, 2013

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