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Human Smiles: Expression of Emotion or Communication Gesture?
Unformatted Document Text:  Kurylo & Frank Smiles and Communication 1 Human Smiles: Expression of Emotion or Communication Gesture? Abstract This study examined whether the smile was an indicator of felt positive emotion, or simply a communicative gesture independent of emotional state. We replicated an experiment by Fridlund (1991) where we showed participants humor-inducing video clips in three conditions varying in social contact - while alone, or when they believed a friend was watching the same video in a different room, or while they were in the same room with another participant. We videotaped participants unobtrusively, and classified the smiles into nonenjoyment smiles, consisting of zygomatic major action, and enjoyment smiles, consisting of zygomatic major action plus orbicularis oculi action. We also measured their self-report of happiness. We found that unlike Fridlund (1991), the number of smiles did not vary as a function of social contact. Moreover, we found, consistent with previous work by Ekman, Davidson, & Friesen (1990), that only enjoyment smiles consistently, across all social contact conditions, correlated with self- report of happiness, whereas nonenjoyment smiles did not. These results support the finding that one type of smile is an indicator of emotional state, and suggest a more complicated relationship between smiling and communication.

Authors: Kurylo, Anastacia. and Frank, Mark.
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Kurylo & Frank
Smiles and Communication
1
Human Smiles: Expression of Emotion or Communication Gesture?
Abstract
This study examined whether the smile was an indicator of felt positive emotion, or
simply a communicative gesture independent of emotional state. We replicated an
experiment by Fridlund (1991) where we showed participants humor-inducing video clips
in three conditions varying in social contact - while alone, or when they believed a friend
was watching the same video in a different room, or while they were in the same room
with another participant. We videotaped participants unobtrusively, and classified the
smiles into nonenjoyment smiles, consisting of zygomatic major action, and enjoyment
smiles, consisting of zygomatic major action plus orbicularis oculi action. We also
measured their self-report of happiness. We found that unlike Fridlund (1991), the
number of smiles did not vary as a function of social contact. Moreover, we found,
consistent with previous work by Ekman, Davidson, & Friesen (1990), that only
enjoyment smiles consistently, across all social contact conditions, correlated with self-
report of happiness, whereas nonenjoyment smiles did not. These results support the
finding that one type of smile is an indicator of emotional state, and suggest a more
complicated relationship between smiling and communication.


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