A multi-lab test of the facial feedback hypothesis by the Many Smiles Collaboration

Nicholas A. Coles, David S. March, Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, Jeff T. Larsen, Nwadiogo C. Arinze, Izuchukwu L.G. Ndukaihe, Megan L. Willis, Francesco Foroni, Niv Reggev, Aviv Mokady, Patrick S. Forscher, John F. Hunter, Gwenaël Kaminski, Elif Yüvrük, Aycan Kapucu, Tamás Nagy, Nandor Hajdu, Julian Tejada, Raquel M.K. Freitag, Danilo ZambranoBidisha Som, Balazs Aczel, Krystian Barzykowski, Sylwia Adamus, Katarzyna Filip, Yuki Yamada, Ayumi Ikeda, Daniel L. Eaves, Carmel A. Levitan, Sydney Leiweke, Michal Parzuchowski, Natalie Butcher, Gerit Pfuhl, Dana M. Basnight-Brown, José A. Hinojosa, Pedro R. Montoro, Lady G. Javela D, Kevin Vezirian, Hans IJzerman, Natalia Trujillo, Sarah D. Pressman, Pascal M. Gygax, Asil A. Özdoğru, Susana Ruiz-Fernandez, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Lowell Gaertner, Fritz Strack, Marco Marozzi, Marco Tullio Liuzza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Following theories of emotional embodiment, the facial feedback hypothesis suggests that individuals’ subjective experiences of emotion are influenced by their facial expressions. However, evidence for this hypothesis has been mixed. We thus formed a global adversarial collaboration and carried out a preregistered, multicentre study designed to specify and test the conditions that should most reliably produce facial feedback effects. Data from n = 3,878 participants spanning 19 countries indicated that a facial mimicry and voluntary facial action task could both amplify and initiate feelings of happiness. However, evidence of facial feedback effects was less conclusive when facial feedback was manipulated unobtrusively via a pen-in-mouth task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1731-1742
Number of pages12
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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