Functional smiles: tools for love, sympathy, and war

Rychlowska, M., Jack, R. E. , Garrod, O. G.B., Schyns, P. G. , Martin, J. D. and Niedenthal, P. M. (2017) Functional smiles: tools for love, sympathy, and war. Psychological Science, 28(9), pp. 1259-1270. (doi: 10.1177/0956797617706082) (PMID:28741981)

142573.pdf - Accepted Version



A smile is the most frequent facial expression, but not all smiles are equal. A social-functional account holds that smiles of reward, affiliation, and dominance serve basic social functions, including rewarding behavior, bonding socially, and negotiating hierarchy. Here, we characterize the facial-expression patterns associated with these three types of smiles. Specifically, we modeled the facial expressions using a data-driven approach and showed that reward smiles are symmetrical and accompanied by eyebrow raising, affiliative smiles involve lip pressing, and dominance smiles are asymmetrical and contain nose wrinkling and upper-lip raising. A Bayesian-classifier analysis and a detection task revealed that the three smile types are highly distinct. Finally, social judgments made by a separate participant group showed that the different smile types convey different social messages. Our results provide the first detailed description of the physical form and social messages conveyed by these three types of functional smiles and document the versatility of these facial expressions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jack, Professor Rachael and Garrod, Dr Oliver and Schyns, Professor Philippe
Authors: Rychlowska, M., Jack, R. E., Garrod, O. G.B., Schyns, P. G., Martin, J. D., and Niedenthal, P. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Psychological Science
Publisher:Association for Psychological Science
ISSN (Online):1467-9280
Published Online:25 July 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Psychological Science 28(9): 1259-1270
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
698281Brain Algorithmics: Reverse Engineering Dynamic Information Processing Networks from MEG time seriesPhilippe SchynsWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)107802/Z/15/ZINP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING
700661Visual Commonsense for Scene UnderstandingPhilippe SchynsEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N019261/1INP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING