Smiles are contagious in a group of men sitting around drinking alcohol, according to a study announced Tuesday in the journal Clinical Psychological Science. This suggests that booze serves as a social lubricant for men, making them more sensitive to social behaviors, like smiling, and freeing them to connect with one another in a way that a soda can’t
Lest that strike you as laughably obvious, consider this: the effect does not hold if there are any women in the group, according to the study authors
A site note of the research points to the fact that genuine smiles are perfectly contagious among sober women, just not sober men
The authors don’t posit a guess as to why the presence of a woman keeps drunk men from catching smiles from one another, except to say that booze seems to disrupt "processes that would normally prevent them from responding to another person’s smile""
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