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Smile intensity in photographs predicts divorce later in life


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Based on social–functional accounts of emotion, we conducted two studies examining whether the degree to which people smiled in photographs predicts the likelihood of divorce. Along with other theorists, we posited that smiling behavior in photographs is potentially indicative of underlying emotional dispositions that have direct and indirect life consequences. In the first study, we examined participants’ positive expressive behavior in college yearbook photos and in Study 2 we examined a variety of participants’ photos from childhood through early adulthood. In both studies, divorce was predicted by the degree to which subjects smiled in their photos.
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Smile intensity in photographs predicts divorce later in life
Matthew J. Hertenstein ÆCarrie A. Hansel Æ
Alissa M. Butts ÆSarah N. Hile
ÓSpringer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009
Abstract Based on social–functional accounts of emo-
tion, we conducted two studies examining whether the
degree to which people smiled in photographs predicts the
likelihood of divorce. Along with other theorists, we pos-
ited that smiling behavior in photographs is potentially
indicative of underlying emotional dispositions that have
direct and indirect life consequences. In the first study, we
examined participants’ positive expressive behavior in
college yearbook photos and in Study 2 we examined a
variety of participants’ photos from childhood through
early adulthood. In both studies, divorce was predicted by
the degree to which subjects smiled in their photos.
Keywords Emotion Positive emotion Divorce
Many contemporary theories in affective science hold that
our emotions organize our daily lives and do so throughout
our lifespans (e.g., Izard and Ackerman 2000; Keltner and
Gross 1999). Such social–functional approaches to emotion
posit that individual differences in emotionality lead to
systematic and reliable differences in behavioral, cognitive,
and physiological responses. These differences are thought
to arise both from the intrapersonal (Levenson 1999) and
the interpersonal (Frijda 2007) functions served by emotion
and are thought to lead to differential life consequences
(Keltner and Gross 1999).
Based on social–functional approaches to emotion,
Harker and Keltner (2001) conducted a study examining
women’s yearbook pictures at an elite institution in relation
to a variety of life outcomes including health, personality,
and marriage. Harker and Keltner calculated the intensity
of female students’ smiles in their senior yearbook photo.
Throughout their adult lives, subjects completed assess-
ments of their well-being, personality, and marriage.
Harker and Keltner (2001) discovered that the more
intense the subject’s positive expression shown in her
senior yearbook picture, the more likely that she would be
married by age 27 and would have a more satisfying
marriage in adulthood. Furthermore, she was more likely to
be more organized, content, nurturing, compassionate, and
sociable than those women with less intense smiles.
These researchers theorized that positive emotionality in
photographs could be an index for enduring emotional
tendencies that shape personality and the life course
through their influence on social, cognitive, and behavioral
repertoires (Harker and Keltner 2001). Moreover, these
emotional tendencies may have direct consequences on
others, such that people displaying more positive displays
may evoke positive responses in others thereby facilitating
This research was supported by DePauw University’s Faculty
Development Program, as well as the Asher Fund.
M. J. Hertenstein (&)C. A. Hansel A. M. Butts S. N. Hile
DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, USA
It should be noted that in a follow-up study, many of these findings
were not replicated in a more diverse sample (Freese et al. 2006).
However, these researchers employed a different system of coding for
the smile intensity of their participants. More specifically, instead of
coding the smiles along a continuum like Harker and Keltner (2001),
they coded expressions trichotomously (no smile, Duchenne smile, or
non-Duchenne smile) which yielded a more gross assessment of
smiling behavior. These researchers attempted to adopt Harker and
Keltner’s coding procedure, but were dissatisfied with the inter-rater
agreement achieved. The discrepancy in coding procedure likely
contributed to the lack of replication of Harker and Keltner’s results.
Motiv Emot
DOI 10.1007/s11031-009-9124-6
personal bonds (Scarr and McCartney 1983). According to
Keltner (2004), facial expressions play a key role in fore-
casting an individual’s life outcomes. An individual’s
propensity for certain facial expressions reflects one’s
interpretation of proximal events, which shapes how life
events transpire and influences others’ interactions with
oneself (Keltner). Thus, there is a sound theoretical ratio-
nale on which Harker and Keltner’s study was based
(Freese et al. 2006).
Harker and Keltner’s (2001) investigation falls squarely
into the ‘‘thin slicing’’ literature (Ambady et al. 2000). This
literature indicates that from very limited segments of
nonverbal behavior, one can accurately infer a variety of
characteristics including socioeconomic status (Kraus and
Keltner 2009), teacher evaluations (Ambady and Rosenthal
1993), sexual orientation (Ambady et al. 1999), and some
facets of personality (Albright et al. 1988) to name only a
few. A meta-analysis of this literature indicated that (1)
‘thick’’ slices of behavior beyond a half-minute, (2) the
various channels of the stimuli that are used (face, voice,
etc.), and (3) the setting in which the stimuli were pre-
sented (lab vs. naturally occurring) did not affect the
accuracy with which people could assess a host of char-
acteristics (Ambady and Rosenthal 1992). Like Harker and
Keltner’s study, the current investigation falls within the
thin slicing literature as it examines snapshots in time of
expressive behavior in photographs.
Study 1
In Study 1, we examined the potential relationship between
smiling intensity in yearbook photos and one major life
event of central importance to demographers, sociologists,
and psychologists alike—divorce. As Harker and Keltner
(2001) have proposed, one’s facial expressions shape and
forge the environment in which an individual interacts,
which should especially include one’s more intimate
spousal relations. Could it be that in today’s society where
almost half of all marriages end in divorce, an individual’s
likelihood to divorce could be predicted simply by exam-
ining one’s facial displays of emotion in photographs? The
current study seeks to determine the relationship between
one’s propensity to display positive emotionality and
Harker and Keltner (2001) examined whether positive
emotionality in photographs predicts divorce. They did not
find a significant relation between the two variables, but
their study was limited in a few important respects, most of
which Harker and Keltner acknowledge. First, they only
asked participants whether they were divorced at age 43,
not nearly long enough to determine if participants would,
in fact, obtain a divorce later.
Second, the study focused
solely on females, which leaves one to ask how males
would fare (Harker and Keltner 2001). There is a long
history of documenting gender differences in the displays
of emotion in affective science. In general, men smile more
than women (LaFrance et al. 2003), though these differ-
ences are inconsistent and vary across social, cultural,
personality, and situational variables (Brody and Hall
2008). In general, women smile, nod, laugh, and use their
hands to communicate emotions more in comparison to
men (Brody and Hall). Moreover, women more accurately
portray their deliberately posed and spontaneous facial
emotions in contrast to men (Hall 1984). Finally, both men
and women emit Duchenne and non-Duchenne smiles in
approximately the same proportions, indicating that one
gender’s smiles are no more ‘‘artificial’’ than the other’s
(Brody and Hall; Hecht and LaFrance 1998). Most relevant
to the current investigation was a study conducted by Re-
gan (1982) in which she analyzed university students’
smiles in yearbook photos. She found that women smiled
more frequently and intensely than did males. In another
study, researchers found that men smiled less than women
in posed photos, but equally as much in spontaneous
interactions (Hall et al. 2001). According to LaFrance et al.
(2003), this pattern of results indicates that women’s
expressive behavior in monitored situations (like photos)
reflects gender-stereotyped norms, such as being commu-
nal and expressive; whereas, less monitored and evaluative
contexts, such as spontaneous conversations, produce less
pressure to behave in those gender-stereotyped manners.
Finally, Harker and Keltner (2001) used only one pho-
tograph to make their predictions. In the current study, we
used all available photos in the yearbooks for all students.
The current study addresses these limitations, thus inves-
tigating whether one’s propensity to display positive
emotionality is related to a key life outcome—divorce.
Sample 1
Of the 1,272 psychology alumni contacted, 359 responded
to an e-mail inviting them to complete online question-
naires, but 53 individuals were removed from the sample
due to no yearbook photos. The remaining sample con-
sisted of 306 (204 female and 102 male). Ranging in age
between 23- and 87-years-old (M=47 years, SD =
14.97), the participants were Caucasian (96%), African
American (2%), Multiracial (1%), and Other (1%). In the
fall of 2005, data were collected on graduates from a small
Midwestern education institution between 1941 and 2005
(M=1981, SD =15.2).
The same is true for Freese et al.’s (2006) follow-up study.
Motiv Emot
Sample 2
In an effort to replicate the previous results in an independent
sample and extend the population beyond psychology major
alumni, we employed the same methodology and recruited
more alumni from the same University, but expanded our
criteria to all graduates. In response to an e-mail invitation
sent to approximately 18,000 alumni (excluding alumni
majoring in psychology), 428 people completed online
questionnaires, but 79 individuals were removed from the
sample due to no yearbook photos. The remaining sample
consisted of 349 alumni (225 female and 124 male) who
graduated between 1948 and 2005 (M=1981, SD =16.3).
Ranging in age between 21- and 81-years-old (M=
46 years, SD =16.64), the participants were Caucasian
(96%), African American (1%), Multiracial (1%), and Other
(2%). The data were collected in the fall of 2005. These
demographics indicate that the sample was roughly equal to
the first sample other than the fact that sample 2 did not
contain any psychology majors.
Photo coding procedure
We adopted the same coding procedure used by Harker and
Keltner (2001) which was published in the Journal of Per-
sonality and Social Psychology. Drawing upon Ekman and
Friesen’s Facial Action Coding System, FACS, (1976,
1978), two muscle action units, AU6 and AU12, were ana-
lyzed for each photo. The combination of these actions units
are used to reflect positive facial expression because AU6
(orbicularis oculi) causes one’s cheeks to raise as well as
bagging around the eyes while AU12 (zygomatic major)
causes the corners of the mouth to move upward forming a
smile. The intensity of each action unit was scored utilizing a
5-point intensity scale (ranging from 1-minimal to 5-
extreme). A smile intensity score was created by adding
together the scores of Action Unit 12 and Action Unit 6 (2
meaning no smile and 10 being the highest smile intensity
score available; Ekman and Friesen). Once all photos for an
individual subject were scored, all of that participant’s smile
intensity scores were averaged to provide a total smile
intensity score. It should be noted that the coding system
used in the present study and by Harker and Keltner is not
identical to FACS. In Ekman and Friesen’s scheme, scores
could range from 0 to 12 as zeros are given to muscles that
demonstrate no contraction. However, because the present
study was meant as a follow-up to Harker and Keltner’s
investigation, we adopted their coding scheme.
For sample one, all photos (847 total photos) were coded
by one author (S.H.) and a random subset (10%) was coded
by another author (A.B.). Neither coder had access to any
other information regarding the participants when coding.
Following Harker and Keltner’s protocol for creating an
intercoder reliability ratio, the number of unanimous action
units were multiplied by two and then divided by the total
number of scored action units rated by the two coders. The
intercoder reliability ratio was 0.82. For sample two, all
photos (968 total photos) were coded by one author (A.B.)
and a random subset (10%) was coded by another author
(S.H.). The intercoder reliability ratio was 0.82. For both
studies, final analyses were based on the author who coded
100% of the data.
Participants answered three questions to assess their rela-
tionship status. The alumni were asked if they were
currently in a committed relationship, if they had ever been
in a committed relationship, and if they had ever been
divorced (Due to university constraints, subjects were not
directly asked whether they were married, but were instead
asked if they had ever been in a committed relationship).
These variables were coded dichotomously (Yes/No). By
using the answers to these questions, data were filtered to
provide only those subjects who had ever been in a com-
mitted relationship. These data were then analyzed as to
whether they had divorced or not. Other measures were
administered as part of a larger research project, but only
those that are pertinent to the present report are described.
For the first sample, the mean score for smile intensity (the
sum of the AU6 and AU12 scores) was 5.73 (SD =1.65).
The scores ranged from the lowest possible score of 2
through a high score of 9 (the highest score possible was 10).
Confirming our hypothesis, as a whole, smile intensity pre-
dicted whether or not participants divorced at some point in
their lives. The less intensely participants smiled, the more
likely they would be divorced later in life. This effect was
strongest amongst females, but was somewhat evident
amongst males as well. For the second sample, the mean
score for smile intensity (the sum of the AU6 and AU12
scores) was 5.76 (SD =1.67). The scores ranged from the
lowest possible score of 2 through a high score of 8. Like
sample 1, as a whole, smile intensity predicted whether or not
participants divorced at some point in their lives. The less
intensely participants smiled, the more likely they would be
divorced later in life. Contrary to the first sample, this effect
was strongest amongst males, but was somewhat evident
amongst females as well. Please refer to Table 1for
descriptive and inferential statistics (pvalues are one-tailed
given the directional hypotheses of the studies).
We also analyzed the data using logistic regression techniques
entering the dichotomous variable (divorce) as the criterion variable
Motiv Emot
Study 2
To replicate the findings in study 1 as well as assess gen-
eralizability to other populations, we recruited a
community sample of adults over the age of 55 years.
Participants provided photographs of themselves between
the ages of 5- and 22-years-old, which constitutes a larger
age span for the photos than the other two samples that
focused solely on the college years. In addition, partici-
pants in this study were allowed to include any photos of
their choice, including school photos, wedding photos,
photos taken with family members, etc. Indeed, Harker and
Keltner (2001) acknowledged the need for a variety of
photographs taken in different contexts. As they pointed
out, basic principles of personality and statistics dictate that
more indices of assessment over time and across contexts
yield a more reliable index of emotionality (Bem and Allen
1974). Here, we assessed emotionality in photographs
taken in a variety of situations and contexts over a span of
Sixty-one people from a small, Midwestern town respon-
ded to the invitation to participate in a photo study, which
included completing questionnaires. Six individuals were
removed from the sample due to their photos not being
clear enough to code. The remaining sample consisted of
55 mature adults (44 female and 11 male). Ranging in age
between 59- and 91-years-old (M=73 years, SD =7.37),
the volunteers were Caucasian (87%), African American
(9%), and Other (4%). Individuals from this sample did not
overlap with the previous samples.
Participants were recruited by disseminating materials in
areas of the community where individuals were most likely
to be aged 55 years and older. Each participant was given a
packet which included instructions, a consent form, mul-
tiple questionnaires, and envelopes for each photo. Upon
completion of the consent form and questionnaires, par-
ticipants were asked to provide up to eight photographs of
themselves between the ages of 5- and 22-years-old. The
mean age at which photos were taken in the study was
10.15-years-old (SD =5.36). Any photos were allowed
including school photos, wedding photos, photos taken
with family, etc. Participants placed each photo in one of
the return envelopes and marked the envelope with their
age in the photograph. When all the photos were collected,
the subject placed all of the envelopes with photos, the
consent form, and questionnaires inside a large envelope
and then contacted the lab for someone to retrieve the
package. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaires and
photos, all portraits were scanned for each participant and
the originals returned within 1 week. Participants were
offered a small monetary gift card for a retail store.
Photo coding procedure
The same coding procedure was employed as in Study 1.
All photos (217 total) were coded by one author (S.H.) and
a random subset (10%) was coded by another author
(A.B.). The intercoder reliability ratio was 0.82.
Life outcome measures
Participants answered three questions to assess their rela-
tionship status, but these questions were slightly altered
Table 1 Descriptive and inferential results: smile intensity and divorce
Study Group Not divorced Divorced
nMSD nMSD df t p r
Study 1: sample 1 All 235 5.9 1.6 49 5.0 1.6 282 3.34** 0.01 -0.20
Male 70 4.7 1.7 22 4.1 1.4 90 1.51
0.07 -0.16
Female 165 6.4 1.3 27 5.8 1.3 190 2.17* 0.02 -0.16
Study 1: sample 2 All 258 5.9 1.7 68 5.3 1.7 324 2.79** 0.01 -0.15
Male 84 5.2 1.7 30 4.6 1.6 112 1.79* 0.04 -0.17
Female 174 6.2 1.5 38 5.8 1.5 210 1.52
0.07 -0.10
Study 2 All 31 5.2 1.6 20 4.4 1.5 49 1.78* 0.04 -0.25
Male 7 4.5 1.4 2 3.6 2.2 7 0.75 0.24 -0.27
Female 24 5.4 1.6 18 4.5 1.4 40 1.86* 0.04 -0.28
*p\0.05, ** p\0.01,
Footnote 3 continued
and the average smiling score as the predictor variable. Overall, the
analyses yielded the same pattern of results as those presented in
Table 1.
Motiv Emot
from Study 1. The modification was to ask directly about
marriage and not just if they had been involved in a
committed relationship. The mature adults were asked if
they were currently married, if they had ever been married,
and if they had ever been divorced. By using the answers to
these questions, data were filtered to provide only those
subjects who had ever been married. These subjects who
had been married were then compared to determine whe-
ther they had divorced or not.
The mean score for smile intensity (the sum of the AU6
and AU12 scores) was 4.82 (SD =1.56). The scores ran-
ged from the lowest possible score of 2 through a high
score of 10 (the highest score possible was 10). Continuing
the same pattern, smile intensity predicted whether or not
participants divorced at some point in their lives. The less
intensely participants smiled, the more likely they would
be divorced later in life. This was only evident, however,
amongst females. The group sample size (n=7) was
insufficient to examine whether divorce could be predicted
amongst males. Please refer to Table 1for descriptive and
inferential statistics. It should be noted that smile intensity
scores were collapsed across several different types of
photos (e.g., school photos, wedding photos, family pho-
tos). There are likely different demand characteristics for
smiling in these various contexts. However, the goal of this
study was to average smiling behavior across contexts to
derive a more reliable index of smiling behavior (Bem and
Allen 1974). Moreover, given the fallibility of subjects’
memories, we thought it impractical to ask them the spe-
cific context in which a photo was taken, especially when
some photos were taken when subjects were as young as 5-
General discussion
For the first time, the current studies provide evidence that
the degree to which one smiles in photographs taken in
early life predicts the likelihood that a person will be
divorced later in life. In Study 1, photographs taken in early
adulthood predicted this life outcome; whereas, Study 2
demonstrated that photographs throughout early life pre-
dicted divorce. Our findings are consistent with
researchers’ contentions that emotional tendencies influ-
ence the life course through social, cognitive, biological,
and behavioral processes (Harker and Keltner 2001; Izard
and Ackerman 2000; Keltner 2004; Malatesta 1990).
Yearbook photos, which are extremely thin slices of
behavior, may reflect participants’ stable emotional ten-
dencies and these tendencies seem to forecast some life
outcomes, such as divorce. This is consistent with Fred-
rickson and her colleagues’ broaden-and-build theory of
positive emotion, which holds that positive emotions
strengthen interpersonal bonds throughout the lifespan
(e.g., Fredrickson and Losada 2005). It is also consistent
with social–functional accounts of emotion which hold that
emotions shape our lives throughout the lifespan via
behavioral, physiological, and cognitive processes (e.g.,
Izard and Ackerman 2000; Keltner and Gross 1999).
The current investigation extended the literature on the
predictiveness of early positive emotion on life outcomes,
particularly divorce, in several ways. First, male partici-
pants were included in the sample. Male and female
developmental processes are not the same (Carstensen et al.
2003), thus the current study’s inclusion of males is an
important contribution when examining divorce. Second,
the current investigation examined whether participants
divorced throughout their lifetime (or, at least, before they
participated in the study), not just before their middle age
as was done in previous research (Harker and Keltner
2001). Third, participants in Study 1 were from a number
of different cohorts. Harker and Keltner focused on only
women who graduated from college in the late 1960s.
Thus, the current investigation extends the findings of
previous work by including a number of different birth
cohorts. Fourth, Study 2 included a community sample
rather than a sample of convenience as has been done in
almost every previous study. Fifth, participants in the last
study were allowed to include photos beyond just their
yearbook photos. Thus, the predictiveness of early emotion
in photographs is not limited to yearbook photos, but other
types of photos as well, such as wedding photos and family
photos. Finally, Study 2 employed pictures taken from
childhood through early adulthood rather than relying
solely on photos taken in early adulthood. In fact, the
average age of participants in the photos was 10-years-old.
Thus, divorce can not only be predicted by photographs
taken in early adulthood, but in childhood as well. As
mentioned, basic principles of personality and statistics
dictate that more indices of assessment over time and
across contexts yield a more reliable index of emotionality
(Bem and Allen 1974). Here, we assessed emotionality in
photographs taken in a variety of situations and contexts
over a number of different years.
The present investigation is limited in a few respects, all
of which call for future investigation. First, this study did
not account for the attractiveness of the participants. We
opted not to examine this variable because previous
Like study 1, we also analyzed the data using logistic regression
techniques entering the dichotomous variable (divorce) as the
criterion variable and the average smiling score as the predictor
variable. Overall, the analyses yielded the same pattern of results as
those presented in Table 1.
Motiv Emot
research examining life outcomes and positive emotional
displays in photographs found that attractiveness played
little, if any role (Harker and Keltner 2001). Nevertheless,
attractiveness is a possible alternative explanation for our
findings, though given previous data, we do not think this
to be the case. Second, due to university constraints, the
relationship status was more ambiguous for the alumni than
the local community members. The alumni were asked if
they were ever in a committed relationship; whereas, the
local community members were asked if they had ever
been married. Although, by asking all of the subjects if
they had ever divorced, it was implied that they must have
been married before they could technically be divorced.
Future research should refine the committed relationship
variable by separating out those individuals who have been
in a marriage versus those who have been in a committed
relationship without marriage. In addition, future studies
should assess the number of times that people have been
divorced, rather than asking participants if they had been
divorced or not. Third, it is very possible that our findings
and those of others who employ similar methodologies are
limited to US culture. Obviously, some cultures may not
smile as much in photographs compared to those in the US.
Moreover, their smiles may be displayed and interpreted
Finally, like Harker and Keltner (2001), our data do not
reveal the specific process(es) that may account for the
relation between smiling in early life and divorce. Given
the complexity of the smile in terms of its situational
specificity, it does not yield to any overarching and com-
plete framework to explain its relation to life outcomes
(LaFrance et al. 2003). However, a number of interesting
and potentially important mechanisms can be posited
between smiling behavior and divorce given existing the-
oretical insights and data. First, our findings accord with
the enduring dynamics model of marriages (e.g., Huston
and Houts 1998) which holds that personality dispositions,
especially those closely related to emotionality, shape the
quality of exchanges between partners and these disposi-
tions have a stable effect on relationships. Smiling behavior
in photographs may reflect peoples’ stable personality
dispositions (Keltner 2004). A significant body of research
demonstrates that people with greater levels of positive
emotionality take advantage of opportunities, are more
open to social relationships, are more capable of ‘‘undo-
ing’’ sporadic negative emotions, and appraise ambiguous
events more positively (Fredrickson and Losada 2005). Our
findings are congruent with researchers who find that lack
of positive emotionality in marriages predicts divorce
(Gottman et al. 2001). It’s likely that the aforementioned
consequences that come from individual differences in
positive emotionality likely affect long-term relationships,
including marriage, over a lifetime (Huston and Houts).
A second related mechanism by which smiling behavior
may influence divorce relates to Scarr’s (1992) and Ban-
dura’s (2006,2008) theories of gene-environment
interaction. Research indicates that individual differences
in positive emotionality are inherited to some degree
(McCrae and Costa 1991). According to Scarr’s and Ban-
dura’s theories, one of the ways in which our behavioral
tendencies operate over the lifespan is through niche-
picking—seeking out environments consistent with one’s
genetic tendencies. People high in positive emotionality
may be more likely to seek out environments more con-
ducive to happy marriages and may even seek out partners
who are higher in positive emotionality themselves.
A third mechanism by which smiling behavior may
influence divorce relates the signal value of emotional
displays. Fridlund’s (1994) behavioral ecological perspec-
tive holds that emotional displays signal to others the
behavioral intent of the emoter. Thus, smiling conveys a
readiness to affiliate (i.e., ‘‘Let’s be friends’’) with the
other. If smiling behavior in photographs reflects a general
tendency to smile toward others in naturally occurring
situations (this is an empirical question), the emoter profits
from a lifetime of displayed affiliative cues. Such cues,
according to Scarr’s (1992) genotype-environment theory,
evoke more positive eliciting circumstances in one’s life
which likely play an important role in marriage.
A final mechanism comes from work that indicates that
displays of emotion can elicit congruent reactions in per-
ceivers (Dimberg et al. 2000). Perceivers who view facial
displays, including smiling behavior, demonstrate a con-
gruent facial display at unconscious levels. In addition,
perceivers will smile at almost imperceptible levels when
exposed to pictures of smiling stimuli, even at unconscious
levels. This emotional contagion effect may be playing out
throughout one’s life with a long-term partner.
In sum, the current investigation demonstrates that from
extremely thin slices of behavior, the divorce status of
individuals can be ascertained. The effect was replicated in
three separate samples, comprised of several cohorts and
for both genders. Future research should examine process
oriented variables that underlie the relationship between
smiling and life outcomes in general, and divorce
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Motiv Emot
... Second, this study expands the scope of the literature on facial expressions presented in still images by testing the perception valences (positive/negative) of smiles of different intensities (Hertenstein et al., 2009). We present new findings that depart from the consensus, which suggests that smiles mainly have positive social effects. ...
Purpose Smiles displayed at varying intensities by service providers may result in different social judgments by customers, affecting decision-making. This study investigates the joint effect of customers' sense of power (low vs. high) and service providers' smile intensity (slight vs. broad) on their warmth and competence perceptions in service encounters. Design/methodology/approach The authors conducted four experiments based on the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) of social judgments and the agentic-communal model of power, and assessed the impact of perceived power and smile intensity in different service encounter contexts. Findings The interaction effect of customers' sense of power (low vs. high) and service providers' smile intensity (slight vs. broad) influences customers' social judgments (warmth perceptions vs. competence perceptions). A service provider who displays a broad smile is more likely to be perceived as warmer by customers with a low sense of power, but less competent by those with a high sense of power. Furthermore, mediation analysis revealed that the combined effect of customers' sense of power and service providers' smile intensity on customers' subjective well-being and purchase intentions might be attributed to their social judgments. Originality/value This study reveals the intrinsic mechanism behind the interaction effect between smile intensity and sense of power affecting customers' purchase intentions and subjective well-being, namely, warmth/competence perceptions.
... Pomimo, że wyznacznikiem prawdopodobieństwa rozwodu jest wysoki poziom negatywnych interakcji i domowych konfliktów, małżeństwa z niewielkimi tego typu problemami również są narażone na ryzyko rozwodu, jeżeli konstruktywne zaangażowanie partnerów jest zbyt małe. Do rozpadu małżeństwa przyczyniają się także problemy wynikające z podmiotowych uwarunkowań któregoś z partnerów (neurotyzm, zachowania antyspołeczne, nadużywanie substancji psychoaktywnych (narkotyki, alkohol itp), częste ujawnianie negatywnych emocji, zaburzenia psychiczne oraz bezkompromisowość w relacji (Hertenstein, Hansel, Butts, Hile, 2009). Jako główne powody rozstania rozwodnicy często podają również brak zgodności charakterów, zbytnie oddalenie się od siebie oraz problemy osobiste. ...
... Going deeper, Seder and Oishi (2012) paid attention to the smile intensity in the photographs on Facebook. Based on previous studies which stated that the emotion expressed in photographs were associated with life satisfaction (Harker and Keltner, 2001;Freese et al., 2007;Hertenstein et al., 2009;Abel and Kruger, 2010), they showed that smile intensity manifested in Facebook photographs predicted the life satisfaction of their uploader. Also, Wang (2013) investigated whether life satisfaction was related to the use of location-based services on Facebook; one of their results suggested that the higher level of life satisfaction influenced the more frequency of check-in, the consequential content of location-based services. ...
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We examined the associations between the characteristics of Instagram users and the features of their photographs. Narcissism, life satisfaction, and loneliness were employed for user variables and the features at high-(content) and low-levels (pixel) were employed to analyze the Instagram photographs. An online survey was conducted with 179 university students, and their Instagram photographs, 25,394 in total, were collected and analyzed. High-level features were extracted using Computer Vision and Emotion Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, and low-level features were extracted utilizing the program written by the authors. The results of correlation analysis indicate that narcissism, life satisfaction, and loneliness were significantly associated with a part of photograph features at high-and low-levels. The results of the predictive analysis suggest that narcissism, loneliness in total, and social loneliness could be predicted with acceptable accuracy from Instagram photograph features, while characteristics such as life satisfaction, family loneliness, and romantic loneliness could not be predicted. Implications of this research and suggestions for further research were presented.
... Several FACS intensities are identified, ranging from "trace" (the minimum intensity) to the maximum intensity ("maximum"). Some studies relate the intensity of the emotions to the prediction of some things, such as: future happiness [134], [135], stability in marriage [136], and longevity [137]. There is also some controversy about how to estimate the intensity of expression [138]. ...
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Predictions estimate that the future will entail several devices related to IoT (Internet of Things). Most of these will be present in our homes, collecting useful information and triggering informed actions. Much work has been done on collecting data and triggering such devices. However, there is not much work on how to make use of such information to measure the well-being of a person. In the context of older adults, it would be useful to define a means to estimate their well-being, provide them some feedback, and eventually share it with a family member or caregiver. This article emphasizes how to measure well-being through a user-centered Personal Well-being Rating (PWR). Although the proposed rating is idealized as a general equation, our case study is mainly centered on older adults. These are undeniably a group of society that can enrich their lives, by integrating possible solutions implemented considering the PWR. This interpretation opens the door to the development of future interfaces, which can be supported by an explicit way of measuring the well-being of someone inside a home.
... Emotion organizes our cognitive processes and action tendencies [19] and influences individuals' social interactions in systematic ways [20][21][22][23]. Furthermore, studies suggest that emotional expressions have a potential impact on personality, even can predict life outcomes (e.g., marriage and personal well-being) of decades later [24,25]. Since measuring a person's emotional state is one of the most vexing problems in emotional studies, emotion recognition plays a dominant role in GIS-based emotional computing. ...
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Various fields have widely used place emotion extracted from social networking sites (SNS) information in recent years. However, the emotional information may contain biases as users are a particular subset of the whole population. This research studies whether there are significant differences between place emotion extracted from SNS and the place in-situ (a campus of Wuhan University). Two datasets from different sources, Weibo (a platform similar to twitter) and in-situ cameras, are collected over the same time periods in the same geographical range. By utilizing online cognitive services on the photos collected, the diversity of people with a recognizable face in terms of age, gender, and emotions are determined. The results suggest that there are significant differences in place emotion extracted from Weibo and in-situ. Furthermore, the pattern of differences varies among diverse demographic groups. This paper quantitatively contrasts place emotion extracted from SNS and the place in-situ, which can help researchers achieve a more profound understanding of human behavior differences between online and offline place emotion. This research also provides a theoretical basis to calibrate the emotion metrics obtained from SNS facial expressions on future place emotion studies.
Smiling has been a topic of interest to psychologists for decades, with a myriad of studies tying this behavior to well-being. Despite this, we know surprisingly little about the nature of the connections between smiling and physical health. We review the literature connecting both naturally occurring smiles and experimentally manipulated smiles to physical health and health-relevant outcomes. This work is discussed in the context of existing affect and health-relevant theoretical models that help explain the connection between smiling and physical health including the facial feedback hypothesis, the undoing hypothesis, the generalized unsafety theory of stress, and polyvagal theory. We also describe a number of plausible pathways, some new and relatively untested, through which smiling may influence physical health such as trait or state positive affect, social relationships, stress buffering, and the oculocardiac reflex. Finally, we provide a discussion of possible future directions, including the importance of cultural variation and replication. Although this field is still in its infancy, the findings from both naturally occurring smile studies and experimentally manipulated smile studies consistently suggest that smiling may have a number of health-relevant benefits including beneficially impacting our physiology during acute stress, improved stress recovery, and reduced illness over time.
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Studies indicated that individuals who tend to smile while taking their photographs tend to experience more positive emotions in their life and, in turn, achieve superior outcomes in several life domains. However, little is known whether positive emotionality revealed in players' profile photographs is related to sports performance. This study examined whether the smiling intensity in volleyball players' profiles (full, partial, and no smile) predicted individual (e.g., points scored, service, and reception errors) and team performance (winning a match). Building upon previous studies on positive emotions, we expected that players presenting full (Duchenne) smiles would achieve better results. We analyzed 196 volleyball players' profiles from the Polish highest-level professional league competition (PlusLiga). Raters coded smile intensity. Using three-level path models, we found that teams with more frequent Duchenne smiles performed as well as those who presented Duchenne smiles less often. We conclude that positive emotionality (as reflected in profile photo smiling) might be independent of male volleyball accomplishments.
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Understanding demographic difference in facial expression of happiness has crucial implications on social communication. However, prior research on facial emotion expression has mostly focused on the effect of a single demographic factor (typically gender, race, or age), and is limited by the small image dataset collected in laboratory settings. First, we used 30,000 (4800 after pre-processing) real-world facial images from Flickr, to analyze the facial expression of happiness as indicated by the intensity level of two distinctive facial action units, the Cheek Raiser (AU6) and the Lip Corner Puller (AU12), obtained automatically via a deep learning algorithm that we developed, after training on 75,000 images. Second, we conducted a statistical analysis on the intensity level of happiness, with both the main effect and the interaction effect of three core demographic factors on AU12 and AU6. Our results show that females generally display a higher AU12 intensity than males. African Americans tend to exhibit a higher AU6 and AU12 intensity, when compared with Caucasians and Asians. The older age groups, especially the 40–69-year-old, generally display a stronger AU12 intensity than the 0–3-year-old group. Our interdisciplinary study provides a better generalization and a deeper understanding on how different gender, race and age groups express the emotion of happiness differently.
Understanding the detailed differences between posed and spontaneous smiles is an important topic with a range of applications such as in human-computer interaction, automatic facial emotion analysis and in awareness systems. During the past decade or so, there have been very promising solutions for accurate automatic recognition and detailed facial emotion analysis. To this end, many methods and techniques have been proposed for distinguishing between spontaneous and posed smiles. Our aim here is to go beyond the present state of the art in this field. Hence, in this work, we are concerned with understanding the exact distribution of a smile – both spontaneous and posed – across the face. To do this, we utilise a lightweight computational framework which we have developed to analyse the dynamics of human facial expressions. We utilise this framework to undertake a detailed study of the smile expression. Based on computing the optical flow across the face – especially across key parts of the face such as the mouth, the cheeks and around the eyes – we are able to accurately map the dynamic weight distribution of the smile expression. To validate our computational model, we utilise two publicly available datasets, namely the CK + dataset in which the subjects express posed smiles and the MUG dataset in which the subjects express genuine smiles. Our results not only confirm what already exists in the literature – i.e. that the spontaneous genuine smile is truly in the eyes – but it also gives further insight into the exact distribution of the smile across the face.
Well-being has been strongly linked to many important life facets ranging from physical and mental health to social relationships to academic and work performance. Not only has it been associated with many beneficial outcomes across these realms, but it has also been demonstrated to predict positive changes in these key areas of functioning. In this article, we will review the benefits of high subjective well-being (high positive affect and life satisfaction and low negative affect) for health, resilience, work performance, and social relationships. Using multi-method assessments and approaches as well as cross-cultural findings, we review the evidence which vastly supports a strong link between well-being and crucial life domains. Gaps in our understanding of this connection and areas for future research to address the limits of our knowledge assessing the beneficial outcomes of well-being will be discussed. Implications of the link between well-being and important life outcomes for practical applications including interventions and preventative policy work are provided.
How do marriages become unhappy? How do marriages change? What are the theories and methods that can best illuminate our understanding of marital development? This 1998 volume comprehensively explores how marriages develop and deteriorate, and in doing so, brings together leading scholars to present research on the longitudinal course of marriage. The chapters share a common focus on the early phases of marriage but address a diverse array of topics, including marital conflict, personality, social support, the transition to parenthood, violence, ethnicity, stress, alcohol use, commitment and sexuality. Implications of this research for alleviating marital distress are also noted. The book concludes with six provocative analyses by prominent scholars in the areas of sociology, clinical psychology, social psychology and developmental psychology.
This article presents an agentic theory of human development, adaptation, and change. The evolutionary emergence of advanced symbolizing capacity enabled humans to transcend the dictates of their immediate environment and made them unique in their power to shape their life circumstances and the courses their lives take. In this conception, people are contributors to their life circumstances, not just products of them. Social cognitive theory rejects a duality between human agency and social structure. People create social systems, and these systems, in turn, organize and influence people's lives. This article discusses the core properties of human agency, the different forms it takes, its ontological and epistemological status, its development and role in causal structures, its growing primacy in the coevolution process, and its influential exercise at individual and collective levels across diverse spheres of life and cultural systems. © 2006 Association for Psychological Science.
In this article we outline the history, elements, and variations of functional accounts of emotions. Summarising diverse theories and observations, we propose that functional accounts of emotions: (1) address why humans have emotions; (2) de® ne emotions as solutions to problems and opportunities related to physical and social survival; (3) treat emotions as systems of interrelated components; and (4) focus on the bene® cial consequences of emotions. This conceptual approach to emotion is complemented by several empirical strategies, including the study of emotion dysfunction, the effects of emotions on others, and the relations between emotions and personal and social outcomes. We conclude by considering how functional accounts of emotion vary, including in terms of their level of analysis, speci® city, manner of organisation, and range of focus, and the implications functional accounts have for the study of emotion.
Abstract A previous study of females at an elite liberal arts college found that the degree of positive emo- tion expressed in persons’ college yearbook photos was correlated with personality, marital, and health outcomes ,decades ,later in life. We examine ,whether ,the same ,pattern is observed ,among respondents in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, using high school yearbook photographs and out- come,measures,obtained,mostly,when,respondents,were in their Wfties. Despite some,seeming,advan- tages of our design, we were unable, with a few exceptions, to replicate the Wndings of the previous study. Possible explanations for this divergence in Wndings are discussed, including diVerences in measurement, the sample, and the photographic occasion itself. ©2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Keywords: Personality; Emotion; Marriage; Health; Attractiveness; Longitudinal studies We thank Robert Hauser, Richard Davidson, and members of both the Social Psychology and Microsociolo-