Why Smile?: The Science Behind Facial Expressions

Why Smile?: The Science Behind Facial Expressions

by Marianne LaFrance


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Why Smile?: The Science Behind Facial Expressions by Marianne LaFrance

An expert in nonverbal communication tackles the science of smiles and their extraordinary social impact.
When someone smiles, the effects are often positive: a glum mood lifts; an apology is accepted; a deal is struck; a flirtation begins. But not all smiles are equally benign: a rival grins to get under your skin; a bully's smirk unsettles his mark. Who flashes more fake smiles, popular kids or unpopular kids? Is it good or bad when a bereaved person smiles? Much more than cheerful expressions, smiles are social acts with powerful consequences. Drawing on her research conducted at Yale University and Boston College as well as the latest studies in psychology, medicine, anthropology, biology, and computer science, Marianne LaFrance explores the compelling science behind the smile, revealing that this familiar expression is not as simple as it first may seem. Her groundbreaking work shows how the smile says much more than we realize—or care to admit. To read this book is to learn just how much the smile influences our lives and our relationships.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393060041
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/08/2011
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Marianne LaFrance received her PhD from Boston University. She is now a professor at Yale University, and her research has been featured in media outlets such as NPR, the BBC, and the New York Times. She lives in Guilford, Connecticut.

Table of Contents

introduction ix


smile science 3

out of the mouths of babes 26

the indispensable smile 52

missing smiles, frozen smiles 76


two-faced smiles 103

smile politics 124

service with a smile 147


real men don't smile 167

smiles with a foreign accent 195

smile for the camera 218

exit smiling 239

acknowledgments 247

notes 249

references 289

index 323

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