SMILING really can make people feel happier, say scientists.
A US team looked at 50 years of data that tested facial expressions and whether or not they lead people to feel the emotions related to them.
Getty – Contributor A news study found that facial expression such as smiling really can make people happier
And the results suggest facial expressions do have a small impact.
Nicholas Coles, of the University of Tennessee, said: “We don’t think that people can smile their way to happiness.
“But these findings are exciting as they provide a clue about how the mind and the body interact to shape our conscious experience of emotion.”
“Conventional wisdom tells us that we can feel a little happier if we simply smile.
“Or that we can get ourselves in a more serious mood if we scowl.
“But psychologists have actually disagreed about this idea for over 100 years.”
According to the research team, the disagreements became more pronounced in 2016, when a number of researchers have failed to replicate a popular experiment showing that the physical act of smiling can make people feel happier.
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Mr Coles explained: “Some studies have not found evidence that facial expressions can influence emotional feelings.
“But we can’t focus on the results of any one study. Psychologists have been testing this idea since the early 1970s, so we wanted to look at all the evidence.
“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.”
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