Is sun-induced frowning a possible cause of aggression?

Research published in Cognition & Emotion by Marzoli et al examines how facial expression can trigger an emotional response. Marzoli et al set out to test this theory that mood can be governed by facial expression; to the extent that intensity of a person's smile bears a relationship to well-being, fulfilment and longevity. They conducted a study on involuntary sun-induced frowning and relationship to emotional state of the subject.

Participants consisted of 137 females aged 18-40 and 145 males aged 18-39. They were tested at the beach and were split between those wearing sunglasses and those not. Some walked with the sun behind and others with it in front. Participants were randomly chosen among passers-by and were not briefed as to the hypothesis. They completed questionnaires rating their personal feelings of anger and aggression on a Likert Scale. Those against the sun reported more aggressiveness than those wearing sunglasses or those with the sun behind.

In the questionnaire participants were given options to express anger or bitterness and in this study Marzoli et al report an overriding lean towards the former. Despite the majority of reported being unaffected by the sunlight, self-reported aggressiveness bore direct relation to the extent of their irritation from the sun in their eyes. Overall, this is congruent with the authors' view that anger is the expression which most mirrors sun-induced frowning, and adds ecological validity to the many laboratory findings that demonstrated a causal link between contraction of facial muscles and consistent .

More information: "Sun-induced frowning fosters aggressive feelings." Daniele Marzoli, Mariagrazia Custodero, Alessandra Pagliara, Luca Tommasi
Cognition & Emotion Vol. 27, Iss. 8, 2013. DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2013.801338

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Is the human brain capable of identifying a fake smile?

Oct 07, 2013

Human beings follows others' state of mind From their facial expressions. "Fear, anger, sadness, and surprise are quickly displeasure inferred in this way," David Beltran Guerrero, researcher at the University ...

Researchers identify facial expression for anxiety

Jan 16, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King's College London have, for the first time, identified the facial expression of anxiety. The facial expression for the emotion ...

Recommended for you

Family dinners reduce effects of cyberbullying in adolescents

11 hours ago

Sharing regular family meals with children may help protect them from the effects of cyberbullying, according to a study by McGill professor Frank Elgar, Institute for Health and Social Policy. Because family meal times represent ...

The Edwardians were also fans of brain training

17 hours ago

Brain-training programmes are all the rage. They are part of a growing digital brain-health industry that earned more than US$1 billion in revenue in 2012 and is estimated to reach US$6 billion by 2020. The extent to which they actually improve brain function re ...

Report advocates improved police training

Aug 29, 2014

A new report released yesterday by the Mental Health Commission of Canada identifies ways to improve the mental health training and education that police personnel receive.

User comments