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Percept Mot Skills. 1996 Jun;82(3 Pt 2):1111-21.

Reading a smiling face: messages conveyed by various forms of smiling.

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Institute of Psychology University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.


This study investigated the effect of various forms of smiling (closed smile, upper smile, or broad smile) on person perception. Brazilian undergraduates (N = 330) judged a photograph of a male or female stimulus person in three age ranges (young, middle-aged, and old) and smiling or not. 7-point scales were used to measure respondents' perception of the stimulus persons on various attributes (attractiveness, happiness, extroversion, sympathy, kindness, submission, ambition, and intelligence). We found that a smile enhanced attractiveness and kindness ratings independently of its form, whereas the influence of the various forms on ratings of happiness was additive. As the neutral face changed to a closed smile and the closed smile became a broad smile, target stimuli were attributed greater rated happiness. We also found a contribution of perceivers' gender to the judgements of extroversion and sympathy, indicating a slightly greater discrimination of facial expressions among women than among men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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