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The Deliberate Duchenne Smile: Individual Differences in Expressive Control

Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Smiles were only coded for the presence of AU 6 and AU 12. Other smile characteristics such as symmetry and duration were not included as part of our analyses. These characteristics do offer information that perceivers use to differentiate between posed and spontaneous smiles (Krumhuber and Kappas 2005; Gosselin et al. 2002). Not including this information could be seen as a limitation of the current study, but its exclusion is warranted because our interest was whether participants could produce deliberate Duchenne smiles that differed from non-Duchenne smiles, not deliberate Duchenne smiles that are the same as spontaneous Duchenne smiles.

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Sarah D. Gunnery.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 4.

Table 4 Smiling role-play descriptions

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Gunnery, S.D., Hall, J.A. & Ruben, M.A. The Deliberate Duchenne Smile: Individual Differences in Expressive Control. J Nonverbal Behav 37, 29–41 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-012-0139-4

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Keywords

  • Deliberate Duchenne smiling
  • Posing
  • Individual differences
  • Expressive control