, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 238-252

Felt, false, and miserable smiles

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Theoretically based distinctions linked to measurable differences in appearance are described for three smiles: felt smiles (spontaneous expressions of positive emotion); false smiles (deliberate attempts to appear as if positive emotion is felt when it isn't); and, miserable smiles (acknowledgements of feeling miserable but not intending to do much about it). Preliminary evidence supports some of the hypotheses about how these three kinds of smile differ.

This research was supported by a grant (MH 11976) and a Research Scientist Award (MH 06092) from the National Institute of Mental Health. We are grateful to Maureen O'Sullivan for her suggestions on this report.