Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 238–252

Felt, false, and miserable smiles

  • Paul Ekman
  • Wallace V. Friesen

DOI: 10.1007/BF00987191

Cite this article as:
Ekman, P. & Friesen, W.V. J Nonverbal Behav (1982) 6: 238. doi:10.1007/BF00987191


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.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Ekman
    • 1
  • Wallace V. Friesen
  1. 1.School of Medicine, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco