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Human Smiles: Expression of Emotion or Communication Gesture?
Unformatted Document Text:  Kurylo & Frank Smiles and Communication 3 Furthermore, research has shown that the above observations about facial expressions also apply to different cultures; for example, researchers report that Japanese women smile upon hearing about the death of their husbands in battle; or Africans smile to show confusion, etc. (Klineberg, 1940/ 1955; LeBarre, 1947). Experimental research from this perspective also has reported data that show no relationship between smiling and felt positive emotion (e.g., Fridlund, 1991; Klineberg, 1940/ 1955; Kraut & Johnston, 1979; Landis, 1924). For example, Landis (1924) photographed participants across a variety of situations including listening to music, receiving electric shock, and decapitating a live rat, and found that smiling was the most frequently expressed behavior regardless of stimulus or emotion experienced. Another study by Kraut and Johnston (1979) involved observing individuals engaged in presumably positive emotion evoking activities (i.e., bowling, watching a hockey game, or walking on a pleasant day). They found that smiling was more closely associated with being part of a social situation than it was with spontaneous emotional expression; for example, people smiled more after bowling a “gutter ball” (a bad score) than when they bowled a strike (a good score, thus presumably a happy occasion). The connection between smiling and the presence of others and smiling and the internal emotional state was tested explicitly in a study where participants watched a humorous video clip while under different conditions of social contact or “sociality” (Fridlund, 1991). Some participants watched the video alone, whereas some watched while a friend was in another room doing a different task, whereas others watched while a friend was in a different room watching the same video, and still others watched with their friend in the same room. The facial behavior of these participants was measured

Authors: Kurylo, Anastacia. and Frank, Mark.
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background image
Kurylo & Frank
Smiles and Communication
3
Furthermore, research has shown that the above observations about facial
expressions also apply to different cultures; for example, researchers report that Japanese
women smile upon hearing about the death of their husbands in battle; or Africans smile
to show confusion, etc. (Klineberg, 1940/ 1955; LeBarre, 1947).
Experimental research from this perspective also has reported data that show no
relationship between smiling and felt positive emotion (e.g., Fridlund, 1991; Klineberg,
1940/ 1955; Kraut & Johnston, 1979; Landis, 1924). For example, Landis (1924)
photographed participants across a variety of situations including listening to music,
receiving electric shock, and decapitating a live rat, and found that smiling was the most
frequently expressed behavior regardless of stimulus or emotion experienced.
Another study by Kraut and Johnston (1979) involved observing individuals
engaged in presumably positive emotion evoking activities (i.e., bowling, watching a
hockey game, or walking on a pleasant day). They found that smiling was more closely
associated with being part of a social situation than it was with spontaneous emotional
expression; for example, people smiled more after bowling a “gutter ball” (a bad score)
than when they bowled a strike (a good score, thus presumably a happy occasion).
The connection between smiling and the presence of others and smiling and the
internal emotional state was tested explicitly in a study where participants watched a
humorous video clip while under different conditions of social contact or “sociality”
(Fridlund, 1991). Some participants watched the video alone, whereas some watched
while a friend was in another room doing a different task, whereas others watched while a
friend was in a different room watching the same video, and still others watched with
their friend in the same room. The facial behavior of these participants was measured


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