Study: Men good at anger, women with joy

June 13, 2006

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study shows men are good at noticing angry faces, with women good at noticing surprised, sad or joyful expressions.

"The really interesting effect is the difference between males and females," Mark Williams, the study's lead author, told The New York Times.

Williams, a MIT postdoctoral fellow -- along with study co-author Jason Mattingley, a psychology professor at Australia's University of Melbourne -- wanted to determine how people identified emotions reflected in facial expressions.

The researchers showed pictures of human faces to 78 men and 78 women, with the photographs displaying varying expressions of anger, fear, happiness, surprise, disgust or neutrality. Participants were then asked in separate procedures to identify the emotions from among neutral ones.

Williams and Mattingley said both men and women consistently detected angry faces more quickly than terrified ones but the ease of detecting those angry faces depended on the participant's sex.

Men, the scientists found, were significantly faster than women when asked to find an angry face. On the other hand, women were quicker in identifying happy, sad, surprised or disgusted faces than were males.

The study is detailed in the journal Current Biology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Experts uncover hidden layers of Jesus' tomb site

October 27, 2016

In the innermost chamber of the site said to be the tomb of Jesus, a restoration team has peeled away a marble layer for the first time in centuries in an effort to reach what it believes is the original rock surface where ...

Important ancient papyrus seized from looters in Israel

October 27, 2016

(—Eitan Klein, a representative of the Israel Antiquities Authority, has announced that an important papyrus document dated to 2,700 years ago has been seized from a group of Palestinian looters who reportedly ...

Ancient parrot fossil found in Siberia

October 26, 2016

(—A Russian paleontologist has discovered a parrot fossil uncovered in Siberia several years ago—the first evidence of parrots living in Asia. In his paper published in Biology Letters, Nikita Zelenkov describes ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.