(STUDY FINDS) -- KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It’s a common sight across both professional and amateur sporting events. Athletes preparing for a pivotal play or moment in the game put on their most determined and intense “game face.” While most people consider these gritty stares as nothing more than a side effect of preparing for in-game play, is it possible that putting on a game face actually helps us perform better? A team of researchers from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville set out to answer that question, and their findings may surprise you.
“Game face may not only improve performance in cognitive tasks, but it could also lead to better recovery from stress,” explains lead author Matthew Richesin, a master’s student at UTenn, in a statement.
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Richesin was inspired to investigate the phenomenon of game faces after noticing tons of Tennessee Football shirts around campus that proclaimed “Get Your Game Face On.” Surprisingly, after searching through prior research performed on the effect of facial manipulation on mood, he noticed that very little research had been regarding how our faces influence performance.