Block Frown and You Might Not Feel Down

MADISON, Wis., July 21 (UPI) — Frowning affects one’s ability to understand written language related to emotions, a U.S. researcher found.

David Havas, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, questioned whether a person whose “frowning” forehead muscles had been deactivated via Botox injections had changed facial expression, thoughts and emotions.

The study, published in Psychological Science, found deactivating frowning muscles had no effect on the time needed to understand happy sentences. But after Botox treatment, it took more time for others to discern angry and sad emotions spoken by the Botox recipient.

The time difference was small, but significant, Havas said.

“There is a longstanding idea in psychology called the facial feedback hypothesis,” Havas said in a statement. “Essentially, it says, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you. Actually, this study suggests the opposite: When you’re not frowning, the world seems less angry and less sad.”

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