Source: University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Smiling really can make people feel happier, according to a new article. A team of psychologists combined data from 138 studies testing more than 11,000 participants and found that facial expressions have a small impact on our feelings.
Conventional wisdom tells us that we can feel a little happier if we simply smile. Or that we can get ourselves in a more serious mood if we scowl.
But psychologists have actually disagreed about this idea for over 100 years.
These disagreements became more pronounced in 2016, when 17 teams of researchers failed to replicate a well-known experiment demonstrating that the physical act of smiling can make people feel happier.
Using a statistical technique called meta-analysis, researchers combined data from 138 studies testing more than 11,000 participants from all around the world.
According to the results of the meta-analysis, facial expressions have a small impact on feelings.
Smiling makes people feel happier, scowling makes them feel angrier, and frowning makes them feel sadder