Smiling can make people happier
PEOPLE can feel a little happier if they simply smile. But doctors have disagreed about this idea for over 100 years.
Smiling really can make people feel happier, according to a new research paper. Coauthored by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Texas A&M, the paper looked at nearly 50 year conventional wisdom says that s of data testing whether facial expressions can lead people to feel the emotions related to those expressions.
Using a statistical technique called meta-analysis, Nicholas Coles, UT PhD student in social psychology and lead researcher and his team combined data from 138 studies testing more than 11,000 participants from all around the world.
According to the results of the meta-analysis, facial expressions have a small impact on feelings. For example, smiling makes people feel happier, scowling makes them feel angrier, and frowning makes them feel sadder.
“We don’t think that people can smile their way to happiness,” Coles said. “But these findings are exciting because they provide a clue about how the mind and the body interact to shape our conscious experience of emotion. We still have a lot to learn about these facial feedback effects, but this meta-analysis put us a little closer to understanding how emotions work.”