All Smiles Are Positive, but Some Smiles Are More Positive Than Others

Daniel S. Messinger, Alan Fogel, K. Laurie Dickson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reports a study that addressed developmental changes in the associations between positive periods of interaction and different types of smiling and other facial expressions. It specifically explores the meaning of the associations of different types of facial expressions with specific interactive periods, examines the development of these associations, and reviews alternate interpretations and supporting evidence. Frequent observations of thirteen infants yielded appreciable and reliable differences between different types of smiling in different periods of interaction that tended to grow stronger with age and could be observed in a significant proportion of individual infants. The different types of smiles index different intensities of joy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWhat the Face Reveals
Subtitle of host publicationBasic and Applied Studies of Spontaneous Expression Using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS)
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199847044
ISBN (Print)9780195179644
StatePublished - Mar 22 2012


  • Facial expression
  • Infants
  • Interactive periods
  • Joy
  • Smiling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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