Number 29 (2014)

Kryś, K., Hansen, K. (2014). Only stupid smiles to foreigners? Analysis of cultural differences in social perception of intelligence and honesty of smiling individuals

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Kuba Kryś
Instytut Psychologii, Polska Akademia Nauk
Karolina Hansen
Wydział Psychologii, Uniwersytet Warszawski

Abstract:
Studies on social perception reveal that smiling individuals are perceived more positively than non-smiling individuals on many dimensions. However, in the current study we claim that this relationship is not always positive and that it can depend on culture and such cultural dimensions as individualism-collectivism and assertiveness. The experiment carried out in six countries (Poland, Germany, Norway, Iran, the USA, and South Africa) showed that in collectivistic and non-assertive cultures smiling people may be perceived less favorably than non-smiling people. We compared ratings of intelligence and honesty made by participants viewing photos of smiling and non-smiling people. The results showed that smiling people in Germany were seen as more intelligent and in Iran as less intelligent than people who did not smile. Moreover, in all countries except Iran smiling people were seen as more honest than non-smiling people. We discuss the obtained effects in the context of differences between cultures described by House et al. (2004) and Hofstede (2001).
Keywords: smile, social perception, intelligence, honesty, culture

Cite this article as:

Kryś, K., Hansen, K. (2014). Only stupid smiles to foreigners? Analysis of cultural differences in social perception of intelligence and honesty of smiling individuals. Psychologia Społeczna, 29, 165-178. doi: 10.7366/1896180020142903
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