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Emotion. 2002 Mar;2(1):52-74.

Duchenne smile, emotional experience, and autonomic reactivity: a test of the facial feedback hypothesis.

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Laboratoire Vulnérabilité, Adaptation et Psychopathologie, CNRS UMR 7593, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


This study examined the modulatory function of Duchenne and non-Duchenne smiles on subjective and autonomic components of emotion. Participants were asked to hold a pencil in their mouth to either facilitate or inhibit smiles and were not instructed to contract specific muscles. Five conditions--namely lips pressing, low-level non-Duchenne smiling, high-level non-Duchenne smiling, Duchenne smiling, and control--were produced while participants watched videoclips that were evocative of positive or negative affect. Participants who displayed Duchenne smiles reported more positive experience when pleasant scenes and humorous cartoons were presented. Furthermore, they tended to exhibit different patterns of autonomic arousal when viewing positive scenes. These results support thefacial feedback hypothesis and suggest that facial feedback has more powerful effects when facial configurations represent valid analogs of basic emotional expressions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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