Behavioral markers and recognizability of the smile of enjoyment

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1993 Jan;64(1):83-93. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.64.1.83.


Ekman and Friesen (1982) predicted that smiles that express enjoyment would be marked by smoother zygomatic major actions of more consistent duration than the zygomatic major actions of nonenjoyment smiles. Study 1 measured the duration and smoothness of smiles shown by female subjects in response to positive emotion films while alone and in a social interaction. Enjoyment smiles in both situations were of more consistent duration and smoother than nonenjoyment smiles. In Study 2 observers who were shown videotapes of enjoyment and nonenjoyment smiles were able to accurately identify enjoyment smiles at rates greater than chance; moreover, accuracy was positively related to increased salience of orbicularis oculi action. In Study 3, another group of observers were asked to record their impressions of the smiling women shown in Study 2. These women were seen as more positive when they showed enjoyment compared with nonenjoyment smiles. These results provide further evidence that enjoyment smiles are entities distinct from smiles in general.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Facial Expression*
  • Facial Muscles / physiology
  • Female
  • Happiness*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Smiling*