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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Danielle C. Polage

Subject Area

Psychology

Abstract

Consumer research recognizes the well-established effect of positive emotions on consumers, i.e. consumers in positive moods tend to give positive evaluations of products and advertisements. Recently, researchers have investigated the use of Duchenne smiles (genuine smiles) in advertisements to evoke positive emotions and lead to positive evaluations. Duchenne smiles are identified by the activation of both the zygomaticus major muscle (which pulls up the corners of the mouth) and the orbicularis oculi muscles (which surround the eye and result in the crow’s feet wrinkles). Peace, Miles, and Johnston (2006) demonstrated that including Duchenne smiles in mock print advertisements affects viewers’ perceptions of the ad and featured product, resulting in more positive evaluations as compared to neutral and non-Duchenne advertisements. The current research expands on Peace et al. and examines the effects of type of smile displayed in mock print advertisements that feature inexpensive and expensive products alike. Participants rated pairs of advertisements created by the researchers. Participants significantly preferred Duchenne smiling advertisements over non Duchenne and also showed significant preference in their likelihood to purchase products in Duchenne advertisements. A potential mimicry association mechanism is discussed, as well as practical implications for advertisers.

Keywords

Duchenne smiles, consumer attitudes, advertising

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