Smiling, Gaze, and Humor in Conversation: A Pilot Study


Gironzetti, E., S. Attardo, and L. Pickering (2016). Smiling, Gaze, and Humor in Conversation: A Pilot Study. In Ruiz-Gurillo, L. (ed.), Metapragmatics of Humor: Current Research Trends (235–254). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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This paper presents a pilot study, which is part of a larger research project intended to shed light on the role of smiling as a marker of humor in naturalistic conversation. Building on previous research (Attardo, Pickering, and Baker 2011; Calvo, Fernández-Martín, and Nummenmaa 2013; Calvo, Gutiérrez-García, Avero, and Lundqvist 2013; Heerey and Crossley 2013), a mixed methods approach was adopted to collect qualitative and quantitative data in order to determine if there is a relationship between gaze patterns, humorous events, and the smiling behavior of native English speakers taking part in a dyadic face-to-face conversation. Preliminary results show that occurrence of humor and increased participants’ attention to the mouth and eyes areas of the interlocutor’s face tend to co-occur.

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