Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 29–41 | Cite as

The Deliberate Duchenne Smile: Individual Differences in Expressive Control

  • Sarah D. Gunnery
  • Judith A. Hall
  • Mollie A. Ruben
Original Paper


We explored the ability to produce deliberate Duchenne smiles and individual differences in this ability. Participants engaged in both a role-play task, designed to measure quasi-naturalistic usage of the deliberate Duchenne smile, and an imitation task, designed to measure muscular capability. In the role-plays, participants were instructed to smile while enacting scripted scenarios, three representing faked positive (masked negative) affect and three representing genuine positive affect. In the imitation task, they were given photographs of Duchenne and non-Duchenne smiles to imitate. Rates of Duchenne smiling provided further evidence that substantial minorities of people have the ability to produce a Duchenne smile deliberately. Individual differences were evident in the consistency in producing deliberate Duchenne smiles across tasks, and in the relationship between deliberate Duchenne smiling and self-reported ability to put on convincing (false) emotion displays in everyday life.


Deliberate Duchenne smiling Posing Individual differences Expressive control 



The authors thank Elizabeth Fierman and Nicole Betz for helping to conduct the studies; Talya Blatt for video editing; Sun Park for comments on a previous version of the manuscript; and Jukka Leppänen for supplying photographs of Duchenne and non-Duchenne smiles.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah D. Gunnery
    • 1
  • Judith A. Hall
    • 1
  • Mollie A. Ruben
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, 125 NINortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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