The Many Smiles Collaboration: A Multi-Lab Foundational Test of the Facial Feedback Hypothesis

Nicholas A. Coles, David S. March, Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, Hassan Banaruee, Natalie Butcher, Mikael Cavallet, Nikolay Dagaev, Daniel Eaves, Francesco Foroni, Elena Gorbunova, Pascal Gygax, José Antonio Hinojosa Poveda, Ayumi Ayumi Ikeda, Omid Kathin-Zadeh, Asil Ali Özdoğru, Michal Parzuchowski, Susana Ruiz-Fernández, Bidisha Som, Isabel Suarez, Natalia TrujilloSandra Trujillo, Tim van der Zee, Cristina Villalba-García, Megan Willis, Yuki Yamada, Phoebe Ellsworth, Lowell Gaertner, Fritz Strack, Marco Tullio Liuzza, Marco Marozzi

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The facial feedback hypothesis suggests that an individual’s subjective experience of emotion is influenced by their own facial expressions. However, researchers currently face conflicting narratives about whether this hypothesis is valid. A large collaborative effort consistently failed to replicate a seminal demonstration of the facial feedback hypothesis, but meta-analysis suggests the effects are real. Consequently, we conducted a foundational test of the facial feedback hypothesis, wherein a large group of researchers specified the best way(s) to test the hypothesis and used this information to design and execute an international multi-lab experiment. Two pilot studies suggested that smiling could both magnify ongoing feelings of happiness and initiate feelings of happiness in otherwise non-emotional scenarios. Next, 18 labs from 17 countries will examine whether these findings can be replicated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Apr 2020


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