What is the 'expression feedback hypothesis' that 'make smile makes you happy'?


Torrey Wiley

Humans and other animals can make non-verbal communication with others by expressing their emotions with facial expressions and gestures. Regarding such human expressions, the expression ' Expression Feedback Hypothesis ' is the hypothesis that 'an emotion does not create an expression but an expression produces an emotion'. The overseas public 's National Public Radio explains various researches to test such expression feedback hypothesis.

Fake Smiles Don't Always Improve Mood: Shots-Health News: NPR

At the end of the 19th century, the American psychologist William James and the Danish psychologist Karl Lange argued that 'stimulation causes physical change and that the emotion changes accordingly.' Prior to that, Charles Darwin, who advocated the theory of evolution, made a similar opinion in his book 'On the Faces of Humans and Animals '. James and Lange's theory was re -proclaimed by psychologist Silvan Tomkins under the name 'Face Expression Feedback Hypothesis' since the turn of the twentieth century.


Adam Cohn

Various experiments have been conducted in the world of psychology to demonstrate this facial expression feedback hypothesis. A research team led by Nicholas Coles, who studies social psychology at the University of Tennessee , analyzes data from 286 psychology experiments on facial expression feedback hypotheses that have been conducted over the past 50 years. As a result, it turned out that the effect of the expression feedback hypothesis was extremely small, saying that 'the probability of being able to feel happiness by making a smile is about 7%'.

The research team also analyzed data from experiments conducted on negative facial expressions such as puffy faces and astringent facial expressions other than smiles. However, according to Coles, the influence of facial expressions on emotions in either case was very small.

Also, another study found that service employees who had to smile at work all day had a high risk of increased alcohol consumption after work. The data that 'forced smile making as emotional work is likely to have a negative impact on the mind' contradicts the expression feedback hypothesis.

Suppressing emotions and making fake smiles at work may increase alcohol consumption-GIGAZINE

However, the facial expression feedback hypothesis has not been completely denied. In the experiment conducted in 1988, the result that 'the subject who made a smile by putting a pen with teeth smiled their mouth and evaluated the manga as more interesting than the subject who put a pen' was obtained, and the expression feedback The hypothesis was supported. The 1988 experiment was a large-scale reproduction experiment conducted in 2016. Of the 17 independent teams, 9 teams obtained similar results as the 1988 experiment but 8 teams failed to reproduce. Although the reproduction experiment failed to prove the facial expression feedback hypothesis, the team says it does not conclude that the facial expression feedback hypothesis is false. Also, in a reproduction experiment conducted by an Israeli researcher in 2018, it seems that the same results as the 1988 experiment were reproduced.

by Quentin Gronau

Paula Niedental, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, said, 'The facial expression feedback hypothesis is a very complex subject, and at least it needs to be considered. What we should study now is the mechanism and subtlety that facial expressions affect emotions.' It says.

Mr. Coles said, 'We should refrain from recommending others to smile until the mechanism of the facial expression feedback hypothesis is shown. It won't change much, 'he said.

in Science, Posted by log1i_yk