September 9, 2014

The Science and Power of Smiling

Flickr CC via Rickydavid

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In 2010, Wayne State University began a research project that examined the baseball cards of players in the Major League from 1952. The study found that the researchers could predict the lifespan of the players based on their smiles. The players who smiled in their cards lived an average of 79.9 years. Those who didn’t smile lived an average of only 72 years.

UC Berkley did a similar study, examining the smiles of students in yearbooks versus their general well-being and success. The thirty-year study found that researchers were able to predict how successful a student would be based on how wide their smiles were in the photos.

The concept of smiling is universal, with studies conducted in Papua New Guinea with tribes completely disconnected from Western culture. These tribes were found to also attribute smiles to happiness, security and confidence.

So how can this knowledge help someone in a real world or workplace setting? Timothy Ketelaar, an associate professor of psychology at New Mexico State University that has run similar studies says, “Smiles can put you in a positive light by signaling that you’re friendly and trustworthy, and that you aren’t a threat to others.”

In fact, even sounding like one is smiling can be beneficial to building trust. Many call center companies train their employees to smile while they speak, as the act of smiling can alter one’s voice to a happier, pleasant tone which can translate over the phone to clients.

The act of smiling is also contagious, as one Harvard University study found. The research showed that when a person is happy or smiling, a person nearby has a 25 percent higher chance of becoming happier themselves.

These studies and results show that if you want to appear confident, calm and competent, smiling is a straightforward and universal way to display it. Tap into the simple superpower of smiling, and you’ll find yourself feeling better, building trust and establishing long-lasting, positive relationships.

Check out the Cydcor Sales YouTube page for more information about the work that Cydcor has done to benefit Operation Smile.