Praise for LIP SERVICE: Smiles in Life, Death, Trust, Lies, Work, Memory, Sex and Politics (paperback released as Why Smile? The Science Behind Facial Expressions)
Her book is a masterly example of social science at its best—a look at how researchers do their work, what questions they ask, how answers lead to new questions and why all of this matters in our everyday lives.
—Wall Street Journal
Raising the corners of your mouth might seem like the simplest thing in the world. But there are so many kinds of smiles—think of the beaming expression of a proud toddler, the half-smile of Osama Bin Liden, Bruce Willis' smirk, and the irrepressible grin of a teenager in love. Marianne LaFrance is the world's expert on smiles and in this extraordinary book, she explains what they tell us about the human soul. LaFrance is a confident and engaging writer, moving gracefully from novels to the lab to pop culture, from Charles Dickens to Charles Darwin to Charles Manson. Lip Service is a delight and a revelation—you will never look at smiles the same way again.
—Paul Bloom, author of How Pleasure Works
Even though baring of the teeth as a form of appeasement goes back to our primate ancestors, it has gained an incredibly rich palette of meanings in humans. The expression is also highly contagious, so that this engaging and well-researched book is certain to bring a smile to every reader's face.
—Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy
Marianne LaFrance is to the psychology and science of smiling as Marie Curie was to radioactivity."
—Angus Trumble, author of A Brief History of the Smile
Smiles, as LaFrance catalogs them in this lively book, vary from the authentic to the posed, reflect and affirm paradigms of status and powere, and differ according to cultural expectations. . . .this is a charming, thoughtful book, one that makes a powerful case for smiles as "social acts with consequences."
A winning smile is widely recognized as social currency even by our primate cousins, but—as LaFrance (Psychology/Yale University) shows—its meaning is not always so obvious. LaFrance deconstructs the hidden content of smiles and their role in our lives, beginning with the startling information that babies have been observed to practice smiling while still in the womb. . . By unveiling the complexity of something as simple as a smile, the author provides surprising insights into culture and psychology.
. . . extensive research, clear and sometimes humorous writing, and interdisciplinary approach make this a very fine book for anyone who smiles (or doesn't).
A smile can brighten the darkest day, the old saying goes, but according to Yale social psychologist LaFrance, it can also make hearts flutter and enemies cringe, depending on who bears it . . . LaFrance provides plenty of surprising facts and anecdotes to keep readers engaged and smiling.
"In her new book, Lip Service, Yale psychology professor Marianne LaFrance, PhD, draws on the latest research--in fields from biology to anthropology to computer science--in an effort to shed some light on the happy face." O, The Oprah Magazine, August 2011