It is better to smile to women: Gender modifies perception of honesty of smiling individuals across cultures

Kuba Krys, Karolina Hansen, Cai Xing, Alejandra Domínguez Espinosa, Piotr Szarota, María Fernanda Morales
Published Online:
28 Jul 2014
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 50 Issue 2

Additional Options

Social perception studies have revealed that smiling individuals are perceived more favourably on many communion dimensions in comparison to nonsmiling individuals. Research on gender differences in smiling habits showed that women smile more than men. In our study, we investigated this phenomena further and hypothesised that women perceive smiling individuals as more honest than men. An experiment conducted in seven countries (China, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Republic of South Africa and USA) revealed that gender may influence the perception of honesty in smiling individuals. We compared ratings of honesty made by male and female participants who viewed photos of smiling and nonsmiling people. While men and women did not differ on ratings of honesty in nonsmiling individuals, women assessed smiling individuals as more honest than men did. We discuss these results from a social norms perspective.

© 2014 International Union of Psychological Science