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Weird idea of the week: Induce happiness

Want a happy workplace? Fed up with your people scowling at customers? Try Zajonc’s weird idea for inducing happiness:

Saying the phonemes e and ah, which activate smiling muscles, puts people in a better mood than saying the German ü, which activates muscles associated with negative emotions (Zajonc, Murphy & Inglehart, 1989). Simply activating one of the smiling muscles by holding a pen in the teeth (rather than with the lips, which activates a frowning muscle) is enough to make cartoons seem more amusing (Strack, Martin & Stepper, 1988).

Better (and less open to a law suit) than putting happy pills in their coffee.

Source: I learnt that from Bob Sutton of Stanford University

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