Smile and the world smiles back. Can looking at faces lower aggression?

The Guardian:

Before I started my PhD, I worked as a “research assistant”. That’s a fancy title for an academic dogsbody; well, it can be. I was lucky and had some great bosses in the five years I had that job, but sometimes it can involve menial tasks like data entry, or running experiments you think are a complete waste of time.

One such experiment, that I was asked to run by my boss while we waited for ethics approval on another study, was published last week in the journal Psychological Science. Shows what I know!

It showed that a simple task involving looking at faces and judging their emotion could reduce anger and aggression in a population of aggressive young people, and a group of controls at Bristol University.

When I was asked to run the experiment, I was skeptical because it was a novel way to try and reduce aggression. There is a suggestion that antidepressants work by changing the way a person processes emotions, reducing a negative emotional bias that is a symptom of depression. But would the same be true for aggression?

Read the whole story: The Guardian

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