Who Smiles While Alone? Rates of Smiling Lower in China than US
Talhelm, T., Oishi, S., & Zhang, X. (2018). Who smiles while alone? Rates of smiling lower in China than US. Emotion.
17 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 20, 2018
Previous studies have found that Westerners value high intensity positive emotions more than people in China and Japan, yet few studies have compared actual rates of smiling across cultures. Particularly rare are observational studies of real-time smiling (as opposed to smiling in photos). In Study 1, raters coded student ID photos of European American and East Asian students in the US. In Study 2, observers coded people’s smiles as they walked outside in the US and China. Both studies found that people from East Asia smiled much less—about 50% less. These differences could reflect differences in happiness across cultures, norms of smiling, or differences in ideal affect.
Keywords: smiling, China, culture, observational study
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation