Words that describe feminine qualities have risen in popularity.
Words that describe feminine qualities have risen in popularity.

Why ‘smile’ is a happy word

By Time of article published Aug 6, 2014

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London - Researchers from Germany found the articulation of vowels influence how we feel.

During tests, they tracked participants' emotions by measuring changes in facial muscles linked with smiling and frowning, and found the most positive letter is “i” and the most negative is “o”.

The team, led by the Erfurt-based psychologist Professor Ralf Rummer, was able to demonstrate the articulation of vowels systematically influences our feelings and vice versa.

The scientists focused on the sound of the long “i” vowel and that of the long, closed “o” vowel.

In the first experiment, the researchers asked participants to watch film clips designed to put them in a positive or a negative mood, and then asked them to make up ten artificial words and to speak them out loud.

They found the artificial words that contained significantly more i's than o's when the test subjects were in a positive mood.

In a second experiment that looked at the link between the sounds, mood and people's facial muscles.

They found that participants making the “i” sounds found things funnier than those making “o” noises.

They believe that the tendency for “i” sounds to occur in positively charged words, such as “like”, and for “o” sounds to occur in negatively charged words, such as “alone”, in many languages appears to be linked to the corresponding use of facial muscles. - Daily Mail

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