Miserable smile

The ‘miserable smile’ is a stoical grin-and-bear-it expression – a slight, asymmetric smile with an expression of deep sadness pasted over the top.

Since Landis’ classic study, psychologists have found this tell-tale smirk on the faces those watching gory films – they were filmed by a hidden camera – and among patients suffering from depression. It's a socially acceptable way of showing that you’re sad or in pain.

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