When asked what the respondents thought when someone smile at them, the answers were quite astonishing. a) The person might be drunk b) The person might not be mentally stable c) He/she is an American.
A new study finds out that Americans smile more than any other nation in the world. Your first thought might be, what is wrong with that? Certainly nothing. It is good to smile and exhibit happy emotions. Not only does it make the person look presentable but may take off unnecessary stress off the mind.
Previous studies have related smiling less with the instability that prevails within a certain country. That is to say, countries at the brink of war or any other emotional crisis may supposedly have less satisfied people. While the results hold true for the majority of the world regions, America is an interesting case in point.
Do Americans really smile more?
America might find itself as an outlier in the happy index spectrum. Though the country has managed to neutralize the security threat to a large extent, economic ups and downs have become a matter of everyday concern. Economic losses, business failures and other problems continue to disturb a major chunk of the American populations.
The question then subsequently arises: then why do Americans smile a lot?
The answer pertains to the fact that the country has a racially diverse population. Ease in immigration laws over the decade has witnessed an influx of foreign immigrants entering into the USA. Now apart from the indigenous Americans, people belonging to other nationalities continue to reside within the States.
How is that related to smiling, you may ask?
Scientists found that due to increasing diversity, a smile has become a symbol of nonverbal communication. Because it is difficult to assume the other person’s native language, it seems better to rely on a smile as a friendly gesture.
The study that looked into such figures, suggested that notable differences were prominent in countries like USA and Canada. In fact, the US alone has a population that comprises of people belonging to as many as 83 different nationalities. Compared to other countries, like say India, where a majority of people happen to be culturally very similar.
What this really means is that Americans look out for alternatives to verbal form of communication. Thankfully, a smile is the solution to the problem!
What does this tell about American culture?
Walking down the busy streets of Manhattan, you will definitely come across a smile from a stranger. It has become so common that you might mistake the other person as some relative or friends of yours!
But there is actually an underlying explanation of the phenomena. Experts associated with the study analyzed the smiling behaviour of Americans and made some valuable deductions.
People responded that they would smile more to build a strong first impression. Meaning by, it becomes vital to manifest initial trust especially when the person at the receiving end is not a native. On the other hand, some respondents also argued that smiling makes them feel more presentable. It seems far a better option to have a nice smile on your face as opposed to appearing grumpy or annoyed!