The Science Behind Smiles

Many photographers regard smiling as a non-distinguishing facial expression.  National Geographic has reported that people remember vacations and events a happy experiences even if they weren’t as long as they reflect smiling individuals.

Marianne LaFrance, a Professor of Psychology at Yale University, shared with National Geographic her thoughts, experiences and cool facts about smiles.

She states that smiles are ambiguous because they appear in an array of contexts.  However, she notes that people should smile because smiles have beneficial psychological effects.  Human beings need  viable relationships with other people in order to survive and thrive.  Smiling is an important device that helps us make and maintain these crucial social relationships.”

Past studies have shown that even just holding a pencil or pen in your mouth, simulating as mile, can improve a person’s mood.  See below for three interesting facts on smiling.

1.  Babies smile in the womb.

2.  People who are guilty of some transgression such as cheating on an exam are more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt if they are shown to smile in a photograph versus showing a neutral expression.

3.  Bereaved spouses who showed smiles while talking about their loved one shortly after his or her death were better off at both six months and twelve months later than those who did not show some smiling immediately following    their loss

4.  Asian countries such as Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand tend to smile the most and Northern European countries such a Russia, Poland and Scandinavia tend to smile the least.

 Enjoy your day and remember to SMILE !


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