There Are 3 Types Of Smiles, Researchers Reveal

People use smiles in three basic ways, new research finds.

People use smiles in three basic ways, new research finds.

The three types of smile are: the reward smile, the affiliative smile and the dominance smile.

The reward smile, shown below on the left, is the type people use when they are happy.

The affiliative smile, shown in the middle below, is used to show we are friendly and not a threat.

The dominance smile, on the right, is closer to a sneer, but is linked to enjoying one’s higher status.

Professor Paula Niedenthal, who led the study, said:

“When distinguishing among smiles, both scientists and laypeople have tended to focus on true and false smiles.

The belief is that if you smile when you’re not happy, the smile is false.

But people smile in many different circumstances and during many emotional states.

So asserting that only smiles that result from states of happiness are ‘true’ smiles limits our understanding of this important facial expression.”

Professor Niedenthal explained the evolution of the smile:

“This facial expression has evolved to solve basic tasks of human living in social groups: Thanks, I like this.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to hurt you.

Hey, I’m in charge here.

There are so many words people use to describe different smiles, but we see them as describing subtypes of a reward situation or an affiliative situation or a situation of negotiating hierarchy and having disdain for someone else.”

Ms Rychlowska said:

“We now know which movements we should look for when we describe smiles from real life.

We can treat smiles as a set of mathematical parameters, create models of people using different types of smiles, and use them in new studies.”

Professor Niedenthal said:

“Americans smile so much that people from other countries are taught to smile more when they interact with us.

The problem is, they’re almost always taught one kind of smile, and that can cause confusion.

Simply teaching people about the existence of different types of ‘true’ smiles can help people pay more attention and avoid some of those misunderstandings.”

The study was published in the journal Psychological Science (Rychlowska et al., 2017).

The George Costanza Guide To Emotional Control

“George is getting upset!”

“George is getting upset!”

Referring to yourself in the third person during periods of stress can aid emotional control, new research finds.

The method was a favourite of Seinfeld sitcom character “George Costanza”, although it didn’t seem to help him much.

Dr  Jason Moser, the study’s first author, said:

“Essentially, we think referring to yourself in the third person leads people to think about themselves more similar to how they think about others, and you can see evidence for this in the brain.

That helps people gain a tiny bit of psychological distance from their experiences, which can often be useful for regulating emotions.”

The study compared talking to yourself in the third person (“George is getting upset!) with using the more usual first-person language (“I’m getting upset”).

The researchers found that talking about themselves in the third person helped people better control their emotions.

Brain scans showed the areas linked to painful emotional experiences were less active when people used the third-person.

Professor Ethan Kross, study co-author, said:

“What’s really exciting here, is that the brain data from these two complementary experiments suggest that third-person self-talk may constitute a relatively effortless form of emotion regulation.

If this ends up being true — we won’t know until more research is done — there are lots of important implications these findings have for our basic understanding of how self-control works, and for how to help people control their emotions in daily life.”

Oddly, George wasn’t exactly known for his emotional self-control.

Maybe he should have stuck with his father’s mantra: “Serenity now!”

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports (Moser et al., 2017).