Is Smiling Contagious? *
|Areas of Science||
|Time Required||Average (6-10 days)|
|Material Availability||Readily available|
|Cost||Very Low (under $20)|
|Safety||Adult supervision is recommended when collecting your data.|
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.
AbstractYou've probably observed from your own personal experiences that some actions are contagious. Yawning is a great example. When one person in a room yawns, several other people usually do, too. Coughing, clearing your throat, these are other actions that often seem contagious. But what about smiling? Have you ever walked down the street and had a random stranger smile at you? Did it make you happy? Did you smile back? In this science fair project, you'll investigate whether smiling is contagious. You'll need to think of a way to design your experiment. One option would be to take a walk around a park and keep track of how many people smile at you, and whether those numbers change based on whether you smile at them or not. Or maybe you want to see if smiling has a chain reaction by having a friend walk a little ways behind you and see if the number of smiles he or she receives changes depending on whether you smile at the passersby first. However you design your experiment, make sure you're observing many people so that you can draw accurate conclusions. The Science Buddies guide Sample Size: How Many Survey Participants Do I Need? will help you determine how many observations you need to make. So put on a smile, because science is fun!
Cite This PageGeneral citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.
Science Buddies Staff. "Is Smiling Contagious?" Science Buddies, 28 July 2017, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/HumBeh_p042/human-behavior/is-smiling-contagious. Accessed 14 Oct. 2019.
Science Buddies Staff. (2017, July 28). Is Smiling Contagious? Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/HumBeh_p042/human-behavior/is-smiling-contagious
Last edit date: 2017-07-28
Ask an ExpertThe Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.
Ask an Expert
If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
SociologistAny time there is more than one person in a room, there is potential for a social interaction to occur or for a group to form. Sociologists study these interactions—how and why groups and societies form, and how outside events like health issues, technology, and crime affect both the societies and the individuals. If you already like to think about how people interact as individuals and in groups, then you're thinking like a sociologist! Read more
PsychologistWhy people take certain actions can often feel like a mystery. Psychologists help solve these mysteries by investigating the physical, cognitive, emotional, or social aspects of human behavior and the human mind. Some psychologists also apply these findings in order to design better products or to help people change their behaviors. Read more
News Feed on This Topic
Note: A computerized matching algorithm suggests the above articles. It's not as smart as you are, and it may occasionally give humorous, ridiculous, or even annoying results! Learn more about the News Feed
Looking for more science fun?
Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom.Find an Activity
Explore Our Science Videos
Why Do Apples and Bananas Turn Brown? - STEM activity
DIY Glitter Surprise Package with a Simple Circuit
5 Easy Fizzing & Foaming Science Projects
Thank you for your feedback!