Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 238-252

Felt, false, and miserable smiles

  • Paul EkmanAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of California
  • , Wallace V. Friesen

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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.