Facial Expression in non verbal communication
Men Are Better Than Women at Ferreting Out That Angry Face in a Crowd
Nicholas Bakalar. New York Times. (Late Edition (east Coast)). New York, N.Y.:Jun 13, 2006. p. F
Detection of specific emotions among various expressions by studying faces
According to a study conducted by Dr. Mark A. Williams of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and psychology professor Jason B. Mattingley University of Melbourne in Australia, the tendency of people to recognize different emotions depend upon their gender and age group. In the study Dr. Williams and Professor Mattingley found that when shown photographs depicting people in different moods, men identified angry gestures more quickly than women. Women were, however, ahead in identifying social and community gestures such as happiness, gratitude, jealousy and sadness. In the study, a group of 78 men and 78 women were shown arrays of human faces with various expressions and gestures. Some profiles were neutral, some terrified and some angry. The procedure of experiment worked through showing four photographs to groups of men and women. One of the photograph showed an angry face while other three contained different expressions. The study found out that both men and women were quick to identify the angry gestures speedily than expressions of fear, terror and surprise. Further, among the photographs themselves, people could more easily mark angry faces of men than women. It also showed both men and women were at par in the speed of identifying fear and terror. However, whereas men were quicker in identifying anger, women more quickly recognized happiness, sadness and other soft expressions
Evaluation of Result
The result, according to authors, confirmed their hypothesis that sex difference determines the cognitive and perceptive ability of people. It further confirmed that detection of facial expression is an evolutionary feature and has emerged based on the threat perception associated with each gender. People are quickly able to identify angry men over angry women in the photographs because historically angry men have carried more damage potential than angry women. Agreeing with the results of study, Qazi Rahman, a researcher Institute of Psychiatry of King’s College London said that men are able to identify angry male faces in the sea of faces because it translates to direct survival question for them. They also encounter more angry faces through life which enables to them in quick identification. On the other hand women, with their more social and domestic bearing are adept at recognizing happiness, sadness, disgust and jealousy because they experience and witness these emotions more than men.