MadSci Network: Evolution

Re: why do people smile?

Date: Wed Feb 16 10:10:38 2000
Posted By: Dr. David Smerken, retired Ph.D., BIOANTHROPOLOGY, DNA.
Area of science: Evolution
ID: 949962228.Ev

Dear Jenna,

To best answer your question I think it is best to quote the paragraph at the top of page 161 in The Cambride Encyclopedia of Human Evolution: "All primates, including humans, use their facial features and muscles to generate expressions. Our own perception tends to label facial expressions as outward manifestations of an emotive state; a smile shows happiness. Like many kinds of behaviour, facial expressions help to regulate social relationships. At this level, the smile (or its simian equivalent) is a display that disarms aggression and eases social interactions."
Dr. Smerken

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