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Abstract

The propabilities of laughing, smiling, or talking during a given hour and in various social environments were investigated by having undergraduate college students record their performance of these activitics in a log book during a one-week period. All three activities were least likely to occur during the hours immediately before bedtime and after waking and were most frequent in social situations. Smiles and laughs, like talking, were performed primarily during social encounters and were often part of verbal and nonverbal conversations. Because laughing and smiling are phasic social acts, they are of limited value as indices of ongoing (tonic) emotional state. The role of laughing, smiling, and talking in communication, the production of mood, and social bonding is considered.