New Study: Wrinkles Obscure Emotional Expressions

anti-agingAccording to new research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, wrinkles do more than just make you look older, they inhibit the way you express basic emotions.

For the study, researchers asked three women who were between the ages of 19 and 21 and three women between the ages of 76 and 93 to feign a range of basic emotions: happy, sad, angry and neutral. They photographed the expressions and used a computer to generate black and white photos.

They then had 65 college aged volunteers to rate the expressions on an interval scale of one to seven, with one being “not at all intense” and seven being “very intense.”

Researchers found that it was overall much easier for volunteers to identify emotional expressions on the younger women. Specifically, volunteers were most accurate in recognizing an angry expression and least accurate in judging sadness in old faces. They perceived happy faces in older people as showing less overall emotion than a younger person.

“In the case of the older expresser, the anger is seen as mixed with other emotions,” Dr. Ursula Hess, a professor of psychology at Humboldt-University in Berlin and the study’s lead author, told the news provider. “Clearly it makes a difference whether you think someone is just angry or someone is both angry and sad.”

Anti-Aging Cosmetic Surgery

Frown lines and wrinkles can obscure the way you’re truly feeling, which may be part of the reason why anti-aging cosmetic surgery procedures continue to rise in popularity. In 2011, consumers spent nearly $2 billion on injectable procedures and $1.6 billion on skin rejuvenation, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Botox injections, dermal fillers and laser treatments are among the top non-surgical anti-aging procedures. While eyelid surgery, face lift surgery and brow lift surgery are the top surgical rejuvenation procedures.