Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Are angry women more like men?

Date:
December 14, 2009
Source:
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Summary:
"Why is it that men can be bastards and women must wear pearls and smile?" wrote author Lynn Hecht Schafran. The answer, according to a new article may lie in our interpretation of facial expressions.

Man's face expressing many emotions. A large set of studies shows that men's faces are perceived as angrier and women's faces as happier overall.
Credit: iStockphoto

"Why is it that men can be bastards and women must wear pearls and smile?" wrote author Lynn Hecht Schafran. The answer, according to an article in the Journal of Vision, may lie in our interpretation of facial expressions.

Related Articles


In two studies, researchers asked subjects to identify the sex of a series of faces. In the first study, androgynous faces with lowered eyebrows and tight lips (angry expressions) were more likely to be identified as male, and faces with smiles and raised eyebrows (expressions of happiness and fear) were often labeled feminine.

The second study used male and female faces wearing expressions of happiness, anger, sadness, fear or a neutral expression. Overall, subjects were able to identify male faces more quickly than female faces, and female faces that expressed anger took the longest to identify.

"The present research shows that the association between anger and men and happiness and women is so strong that it can influence the decisions about the gender of another person when that person is viewed briefly," said Ursula Hess, PhD, from the Department of Psychology, University of Quebec at Montreal.

According to the report, the findings from this study as well as others lead to the idea that "the face is a complex social signaling system in which signals for emotion, behavioral intentions and sex all overlap."

Hess said that the same cues that make a face appear male -- a high forehead, a square jaw and thicker eyebrows -- have been linked to perceptions of dominance. Likewise, features that make a face appear female -- a rounded, baby face with large eyes -- have been linked to perceptions of the individual being approachable and warm.

"This difference in how the emotions and social traits of the two sexes are perceived could have significant implications for social interactions in a number of settings. Our research demonstrates that equivalent levels of anger are perceived as more intense when shown by men rather than women, and happiness as more intense when shown by women rather than men. It also suggests that it is less likely for men to be perceived as warm and caring and for women to be perceived as dominant."

This research is part of a larger set of studies showing that men's faces are perceived as angrier and women's faces as happier. Hess' team is also investigating other facial features that affect the way people perceive emotion, including the effect of signs of aging such as wrinkles and furrows on the perception of emotions in the faces of the elderly.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. "Are angry women more like men?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091206110844.htm>.
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. (2009, December 14). Are angry women more like men?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091206110844.htm
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. "Are angry women more like men?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091206110844.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins