- News Home
6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
- About Us
ScienceShot: Grin and Bear It
17 October 2012 10:25 am
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA—If someone smiles at you, will you smile back? It depends on how powerful you're feeling. Researchers recruited 55 participants and asked them to write short descriptions of experiences that made them feel either powerful or powerless, such as a time when they had control or authority over someone, or when someone had control or authority over them. The participants then watched film clips of high- or low-status people, such as physicians or fast-food workers, smiling or frowning. During the viewings, the scientists recorded the electrical activity of the volunteers' zygomaticus major, or "smiling muscle," and the corrugator supercilii, or "frowning muscle." All of the participants tended to mimic the frowns of high-status individuals more than those of low-status individuals, the researchers reported here on Sunday at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Those who felt powerful tended not to mimic the smiles of high-status people, but returned smiles to people of low status more often. On the other hand, participants who felt powerless returned everybody's smiles. The new findings indicate that powerless people may mimic other's smiles as a strategy to improve their social status.
See more ScienceShots.