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Loker is correct, the mark that it is genuine smile, not a social or false smile, is the activation of the outer parts of the muscle that orbits the eye, in Latin orbicularis oculi, pars lateralis, in FACS terms AU 6. We have done a number of experiments that verify it is only when this muscle is active, in addition to the muscle that produces the smile – zygomatic major, AU 12 – that enjoyment is felt. The catch is that it is very, very difficult to distinguish whether AU 6 is active in a broad smile. The only clue is a very slight lowering of the eyebrows and the skin between the eyebrow and the eyelid – the eye cover fold. Most people don’t recognize when that occurs; even with training it isn’t easy to spot, but it’s possible.
Cal notes he also loves this and there are quick shots of people in triumph. Most often triumph is felt during a contest as in the examples shown, when an opponent is beat in a competition. But a feeling of triumph can also occur when you stretch yourself to your limit and beyond, achieving something difficult. No competition except with yourself. The Italians have a word for this: fiero. I feel it when I have been struggling for an hour to find a sentence that explains something, and suddenly I get it, the sentence sings, and I feel fiero, delighted I was able to do it.
Change is Hard
Cal: “Things change.” Foster: “But people don’t…” Cal proves Foster right when he secretly gambles. It would have been more accurate if Foster had said, “most adults don’t” because change is harder, not impossible, by the end of the teens. Of course it also depends on what aspect of a person Cal and Foster were referring to.
Beliefs, thinking patterns, attitudes are far easier to change than emotional make-up, such as how quickly and strongly one becomes emotional, and what triggers an emotion. Even that can be changed, often for the worse, by severe trauma as in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Addictions, whether to a recreational drug, alcohol or gambling are notoriously difficult but not impossible to change; at least the behavior can change, if not the temptation.