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Wrinkles around the eyes convey more sincere emotions

Crows’ feet make an emotion seem more genuine, regardless of whether the subject is happy, sad or in pain

13 Jun 2018 by Selina Powell

New research suggests that it may be time to put away the anti-aging cream.

The study, which was published in Emotion, confirms that people are more likely to perceive an emotion as sincere if the subject has wrinkles around their eyes.

Western University and University of Miami scientists report that the trend is noticed across a variety of expressions, including those associated with happiness, sadness and pain.

The feature, called the Duchenne marker, was analysed by showing study participants a series of photos of people displaying emotions with and without wrinkles around the eyes.

Study participants consistently ranked the Duchenne smiles and sad expressions as more sincere and intense than the non-Duchenne emotions.

University of Miami psychology professor, Daniel Messinger, highlighted that the findings are a step toward understanding the more general question of why facial expressions contain specific facial actions.

“Since Darwin, scientists have wondered if there is a language of facial expression. This research suggests one key aspect of this language is constriction of the eyes,” he shared.

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