Duchenne Smiles

As you may probably know, there are 7 basic emotions: Anger, Contempt, Fear, Disgust, Happiness, Sadness and Surprise.

But of these 7 basic emotions, there is only 1 enjoyable emotion, which is happiness.

There are many different types of happiness including elation, euphoria, excitement, amusement, etc. However, research has shown that these enjoyable emotions are all expressed on the face the same way: by the Duchenne Smile.

What is a Duchenne Smile?

Named after a French Neurophisiologist from the early 1800s, a Duchenne Smile occurs when the lip corners move up and the muscle around the eyes moves as well. Oftentimes you see wrinkles around a person’s eyes. This is often described as a “twinkling” or “sparkling” in the eyes.

Take a look at this video of Dr. Matsumoto speaking at the Happiness Conference in Sydney a few years ago. He puts the audience to the test to see if they can spot a fake smile from a genuine, Duchenne smile.

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3 responses to “Duchenne Smiles”

  1. Ian Trudel says:

    Suggestion: it would have been great to include in your blog the pictures related in your presentation. Mind you, the video resolution on youtube is too small to be revealing in details (especially in the faces).


  2. Thanks for the good suggestion Ian. It is sometimes hard to see the expressions when the picture is so small. Will post them next time.


  3. I love your humor here! It was great. I was looking at the smile and missed the medal LOL just like everyone else, I’m sure.

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