Oct 29, 2010
Here’s a reason to rejoice despite the nation’s woes: Britons are the happiest people in Europe.
The French and Germans, some might say perhaps not surprisingly, fare poorlyin the smile stakes.
Bottom of the pile are the Poles, who it seems are twice as reluctant to crack a smile as Britons.
Piotr Szarota, a psychologist at the Polish Academy of Sciences, analysed 2,000 photos accompanying internet messages sent by men and women from nine European countries.
He found the residents of Eastern bloc nations to smile less often than those in the West, with the Poles the grimmest of the lot.
However, differences in quality of life cannot fully explain the results, with France and Germany both sitting towards the bottom of the league table.
With fewer than half the French and Germans pictured smiling, they were more morose than the Slovenians and the Czechs.
This may be because, like the Poles, the French and Germans place a premium on sincerity, preferring to show their true feelings, rather than mask them with a smile.
In contrast, Dr Szarota said that Britons, who topped the table with more than 70 percent of those pictured smiling, may be too polite to show how they really feel.