Why do we smile?

Smiling - we smile to show our pleasure or amusement in something or with someone. In fact, smiling seems to be an expression with which we are born, for most babies smile during the first weeks of life. Charles Darwin (1809-1882), the great English naturalist who established the theory of organic evolution in his work, Origin of Species, also published, in 1872, a book, Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, in which he studied the facial expressions of men and animals. It has been suggested that a baby begins to realize within its first year of life that a smile is a "good" expression because it is greeted with pleasure by mother or nurse. The smile develops, some time after the twentieth week of life, into laughter but there are great differences between the frequency of laughter and smiles in individuals.
As the child grows up, the action of smiling becomes bound up with a growing awareness of what is socially acceptable in certain situations. In an adult it is often difficult to be certain whether the response is truly emotional or not. Recently different kinds of smiles have been more closely observed. It is notable that the pattern of the smile alters, according to the situation, from a wide spontaneous grin to laughter to a tight, nervous grimace which is nearer to a reaction of fear.

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