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Science of smiles

Winchester to host research psychologist


Dr. Paula Niedenthal will present “The Science of Smiles” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 11, at the Waupaca Area Public Library.

Sponsored by Winchester Academy, the program is free and open to the public.

A professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Niedenthal will share her research into emotions.

The smile may be the most common and flexible expression, used to reveal some emotions, cover others, and manage social interactions that have kept communities secure and organized for millennia.

How do we tell one kind of smile from another?

Neidenthal and international colleagues from Cardiff University and the University of Glasgow ran a set of experiments to expand understanding of the human smile.

They found three distinct, reliably recognized expressions – smiles of reward, affiliation and dominance. they also described the facial muscle combinations that make them.

Research into the use and effects of smiles are essential in human interactions. Niedenthal has found that smiles can even shift the outcome of games and negotiation.

In addition, her research has provided essential information for surgeons who repair and reconstruct facial bones and muscles.

“They may have to make choices that will affect a patient’s expression for the rest of their life,” Niedenthal said.

Niedenthal received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UW-Madison. She received her doctorate at the University of Michigan prior to becoming a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University and Indiana University.

She served as the director of research in the National Centre for Scientific Research at the Universite Blaise Pascal in France and has authored more than 80 articles and several books.

Winchester Academy is funded through sponsors and tax-deductible donations.

Niedenthal’s program is sponsored by Pat Hollenbeck.

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