Jason Marsh, the author of the article “Fake Smiles May Be Bad for Your Health”, concluded that fake smiles could have negative effects upon people’s health. The author assumed that the inner well-being determines the facial expressions, not the facial expressions determine the psychological condition.
We will write a custom Book Review on “Fake Smiles May Be Bad for Your Health” by Marsh specifically for you
301 certified writers online
By studying a group of bus drivers, researchers concluded that the fake smiles and attempts to suppress negative thoughts have a wide range of negative implications for the employees’ health. Whereas the bus drivers are constantly involved in courteous interactions with passengers, the obligation of acting politely and serving the drivers’ best interests puts psychological pressure upon drivers. According to the findings of this study, the efforts to suppress the negative emotions had reverse effects and made negative thoughts even more persistent. However, by making deeper efforts, such as recollecting pleasant scenes from personal experience or cultivating pleasant thoughts about the future, drivers would be able to produce sincere smiles. Therefore, the main criterion used by the author to distinguish between natural and fake smiles is the process through which it is produced. In the case of a person concentrates on facial expression and exercises face muscles, the smile is regarded as fake. However, if an individual makes a deeper effort and cultivates pleasant thoughts to ensure the psychological stimuli for the facial expression, the smile is regarded as natural because it truly reflects the inner happiness.
The main claim made by Jason Marsh is that fake smiles can be dangerous for people’s psychological well-being. However, by making a deeper effort and creating appropriate stimuli for certain facial expressions, people can make their smiles natural and do no harm to their health.
Whereas smiles and other facial expressions play an important role in social relations, only natural smiles can be helpful for communicating with socially rejected people who can better tell genuine facial expressions from artificial ones, as compared to their socially accepted counterparts.
According to the results of a recent study conducted by psychologist Michael Bernstein and his colleagues, socially rejected people are good at distinguishing between genuine and artificial smiles. In the course of the experiments, the researchers asked the participants from the first group to recall episodes when they were socially isolated. The participants from the second group were asked to think about times when they were included into a group. This technique was used to enforce the participants’ feelings of social inclusion or rejection. When the participants from these two groups and the control one were asked to look at the videos depicting people’s genuine and artificial smiles, the participants who recalled the times of their social rejection had the best results in indicating real smiles. The main conclusion drawn by the scholars was that socially rejected individuals are more sensitive to the fake face expressions because they search for the opportunities for social inclusion, and real smiles can be important indicators of such opportunities. Otherwise, if socially isolated individuals could not distinguish between genuine and artificial smiles, they might waste their time and efforts on establishing contact with individuals who give fake smiles and do not offer any opportunities for social acceptance.
Therefore, smiles which are important means of non-verbal communication can be better interpreted by socially isolated individuals who search for the smallest opportunities of social inclusion and cannot afford themselves wasting time on responding to fake smiles.