This article is based on research conducted by the two junior authors as part of a seminar conducted by the senior author. An earlier version of this manuscript was presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Meetings, Baltimore, 1984.
WHAT IS IN A SMILE?
Version of Record online: 28 JUL 2006
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume 11, Issue 3, pages 341–352, September 1987
How to Cite
Deutsch, F. M., LeBaron, D. and Fryer, M. M. (1987), WHAT IS IN A SMILE?. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 11: 341–352. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1987.tb00908.x
We wish to thank Drake Bradley for his assistance in designing the experiment and for his advice about the statistical analysis. We are grateful to Gerald Epstein for his helpful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript. We also appreciate the clerical assistance given by Lauren Brier and Robin Bliss.
- Issue online: 28 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 28 JUL 2006
- First draft received: February 20, 1986 Final draft received: December 23, 1986
Women have been observed to smile more than men in a variety of social contexts. In order to investigate the consequences of this sex difference for the way men and women are perceived, male and female college students rated the characteristics of men and women depicted in verbal descriptions accompanied by photographs in which they either smiled or did not smile. In control conditions these targets were rated without accompanying photographs. The findings showed that the absence of smiles had a greater impact on perceptions of women than on perceptions of men. When not smiling, women were perceived as less happy, less carefree and less relaxed than were men. Moreover, nonsmiling women were rated less happv, less warm, less relaxed and less carefree than the average woman, whereas smiling men were rated more favorably on those traits than the average man. These results suggest that different standards are applied to men and women. If women fail to perform expressive and warm nonverbal behavior, they will be evaluated more harshly than men.