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Smiles in Life, Death, Trust, Lies, Work, Memory, Sex, and Politics

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Marianne LaFrance, an expert in nonverbal communication, discusses the science of smiles and their extraordinary social impact. Lip Service: Smiles in Life, Death, Trust, Lies, Work, Memory, Sex, and Politics draws on her research and the latest studies in psychology, medicine, anthropology, biology, and computer science to explore the science behind the smile, revealing that this familiar expression is not as simple as it may seem.

Guests:

Marianne LaFrance

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Comments [12]

I read the book-- it is great and addresses many of these comments. Re OneOBall's comment -- I didn't hear Dr. LaFrance say that dogs don't manifest emotion, rather that they don't smile. My dog moves his ears and tail to express how he is feeling. This is probably more appropriate for a dog than lifting his lips and showing his teeth.

Aug. 19 2011 01:54 PM
OneOBall

Any scientist that contends that dogs are not capable of smiling has never owned a dog. At least not a happy one. How can you contend that babies are capable of figuring out the power of a smile and deny that a creature that has been developed by humans over centuries is not capable of the same thing? I invite you to meet my dog and tell me she is incapable of this physical manifestation of emotion.

Aug. 17 2011 06:06 PM
OneOBall

Any scientist that contends that dogs are not capable of smiling has never owned a dog. At least not a happy one. How can you contend that babies are capable of figuring out the power of a smile and deny that a creature that has been developed by humans over centuries is not capable of the same thing? I invite you to meet my dog and tell me she is incapable of this physical manifestation of emotion.

Aug. 17 2011 06:05 PM
anonyme

In France I often hear (and I hear this is often said to others as well) that I can't be French because I smile too much.

Aug. 17 2011 10:52 AM
Floy Bossinas from Ossining

I've been told by my father that he'd like to give me that smile but he can't because then that one (a boy) will have to sit and he doesn't want that.

Aug. 16 2011 01:56 PM
William from Manhattan

There's a pathetic moment in the film Judgement at Nuremberg when Montgomery Clift's character is shown as someone who believes people who smile at him feel kindly toward him.

Aug. 16 2011 01:50 PM
camartin from canada

I'm curious - I wonder what happens to people who have cosmetic procedures -surgeries or botox etc - to counter aging. I have trouble reading those faces because the eyes and mouth no longer have the plasticity of 'normal' faces. To me they often seem stern, angry or extremely disengaged. I can feel uncomfortable in their presence. Do these people have any negative impact on their emotional lives as a result?

Aug. 16 2011 01:33 PM
Sebastian from Stamford

I just read an article yesterday on MSN.com that said women are less attracted to men who smile b/c it makes them seem to available and, in a sense desperate, or trying too hard. Is there any validity to that? Should I not be smiling at women that I'm attracted to?

Aug. 16 2011 01:33 PM
Nancy from Manhattan

Cats don't smile, but sometimes they sneer.

Aug. 16 2011 01:32 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I don't trust people who smile. People with good smiles have learned to manipulate others at an early age, who are attracted to this facial grimace.

When I see someone smiling at me, I clutch my wallet and walk briskly away.

Or maybe, clutch my soul to keep it from being snatched by religious soul-snatchers.

Aug. 16 2011 01:30 PM
clark from nj

My cousin's daughter has a rare genetic disease that prevents her from smiling or laughing. Her speech and hearing are impaired, as well.
It's amazing how we as adults are atuned to children's expressions to understand their feelings.
It took me a while to understand her emotions by her voice and body language.

Aug. 16 2011 12:22 PM
barent

the quality of a smile and what people smile at,is extremely revealing. as well as what they don't smile at. if there is a touching moment of beauty,with a child especially,and a person does not smile,or smiles too hard or too long,a little warning goes off in my head. it can be subtle,but if you don't have aspergers,the cues can be learned. as an aside,aspergers has a whole lot of sujective nonsense around it to begin with.

Aug. 16 2011 11:06 AM

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