Face Cover: What does it mean?

We often see athletes and individuals in high stress, emotional situations do what Dr. Matsumoto calls a “face cover”.

But why exactly do people cover their face in emotional and stressful times?

Some individuals believe that the face cover is only a part of social communication, but Dr. Matsumoto believes that it is not. He believes that individuals often cover their face to conceal their emotions and that it is an immediate reaction that most people cannot control.

Dr. Matsumoto also suggests that covering one’s face could also have some evolutionary basis, rooted in not letting enemies see your emotions because it could potentially be a danger to your well-being. Nonetheless, this gesture is immediate and unconscious.

Keep your eye out for this behavior and you’ll surprisingly see it fairly frequently (you may even catch yourself doing it!)

Dr. Matsumoto discussed emotions in sports at the Happiness Conference in Sydney, Australia:

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