Are all smiles perceived equal? The role of service provider's gender

Sungwoo Choi, Choongbeom Choi, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In service encounters, employees' emotional displays such as smiling play a critical role in creating positive impressions. Whereas prior research has examined the impact of displaying authentic emotional expressions on service encounter satisfaction, empirical research on the joint impact of smile intensity and the service provider's gender is scarce. To bridge that gap, the current study examines such interactive effects on customers' authenticity perceptions. Our findings indicate that a broad smile is perceived as more authentic when the service provider is a female (versus a male). Conversely, a slight smile is more congruent with male stereotypes, thus leading to higher authenticity perceptions. This study further shows that perceived authenticity is the psychological mechanism explaining the link between smile intensity and service encounter satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalService Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing


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