Even from a purely biological point of view, we have evolved to smile. Smiling allows us to be accepted by the people around us. Hence, smiling is often referred to as the simplest and kindest form of human gesture. From a distance, a gentle and earnest smile is so much more perceivable than a frown.
1988 Experiment On Smiling
In a 1988 German experiment, researchers had the participants hold a pen between their upper and lower mouth in such a way that facilitates the muscles associated with smiling. When the subjects were shown cartoons and other funny TV shows, the related humor responses were reported to be more intense in those who were already smiling that those who were not.
The Anatomy Of Smiling
While smiling might be among the most instinctive facial gestures even for babies, it’s actually quite a difficult thing to do on cue. When you have your ID photo taken for instance or when you meet someone for the first time, you try to slap on a smile that ends up either totally fake or downright scary.
In times when smiling comes more naturally, both the zygomatic major and the orbicularis oculi (muscles surrounding the eyes) are stimulated. This kind of honest to goodness smile is referred to as the Duchenne Smile after the 19th French Neurologist who spent his life studying the muscles of the face.
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- 16 Dec, 2013
- Ryan Davies
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