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Need another reason to wear your sunglasses? It turns out sun-induced frowning caused by facing the sun without eye protection can lead to feelings of aggression.
A recent study was conducted at the beach to see if those who did have frowning caused by the sun would experience a mood change.
As opposed to lab experiments, participants were chosen at random from beach goers walking by. None were briefed on what the study was about, in order to prevent any bias. The participants chosen: 137 women between 18 and 40 years old and 145 men between 18 and 39 years old. Both people who wore sunglasses and those who didn’t wear sunglasses were chosen. Participants also were mixed as to whether they were or weren’t facing the sun when answering the questionnaire.
The questionnaire asked participants to rate their feelings of anger or aggression on a Likert Scale, according to ScienceDaily. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “A Likert scale is an ordered scale from which respondents choose one option that best aligns with their view. It is often used to measure respondents’ attitudes by asking the extent to which they agree or disagree with a particular question or statement. A typical scale might be ‘Strongly disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly agree.’”
Study participants didn’t think they were affected by the sun, but questions about mood on the survey found otherwise. “Those against the sun reported more aggressiveness than those wearing sunglasses or those with the sun behind,” according to ScienceDaily. “Despite the majority of participants reported being unaffected by the sunlight, self-reported aggressiveness bore direct relation to the extent of their irritation from the sun in their eyes.”
The study proved the hypothesis correct and the results were published in the Cognition & Emotion journal.
The takeaway for most of us? Wear sunglasses as much as possible outside and try not to look directly at the sun when not wearing them. We’ll be happier and calmer – and we’ll protect our eyes from harmful UV rays at the same time.