作者: Emma Young/BPS / 4956次阅读 时间: 2017年6月05日
来源: 陈明编译 标签: 情绪 社会期望 性别差异

Do women really show their emotions more than men?
By Emma Young/BPS


It’s a stereotype that has improved a little over the years but still persists: women are more emotionally expressive than men. Like Bridget Jones, we constantly reveal exactly how we’re feeling, while men, Mark Darcy-like, look on impassively.

虽然“女性比男性更富于情感表现力”这种刻板印象在过去几年里有所改善,但仍然存在。就像《BJ单身日记》一样,我们不断揭示我们呢的情感世界,而男性,就像Mark Darcy一样在看热闹。

Although prior evidence suggests that women really do smile more often, a new study, published in PLOS One, has considered a greater variety of facial expressions, and it finds that the gender pattern is more complex, with some emotions displayed more by men than women. Arguably, this work helps to reveal not only differences in the emotional signals men and women send to others, but also differences in the emotions that we feel.

虽然之前的证据表明【1】,女性经常微笑,但是,一项发表在PLoS One的新的研究【2】认为,尽管女性面部表情的种类繁多,但是研究同时发现,男性的性别模式更加复杂,男性比女性更能表现出更多的情感。可以说,这项工作不仅有助于揭示男性和女性将情感信号发送给其他人的差异,而且有助于揭示我们感受到的不同的情绪。

Daniel McDuff of Microsoft Research, Redmond, US and his team used a new automated facial coding technology to analyse the expressions of 2,106 people as they watched a series of 10 video adverts at home.

美国微软雷德蒙研究院的 McDuff 和他的团队使用了一种新的自动面部编码技术分析了2106人的表情,他们在家里观看了一系列的10个视频广告。

The participants were crowdsourced from France, Germany, China, the US and the UK. While they watched ads from their own countries on everything from confectionary to cars, their webcams streamed images of their faces to a remote server.


The women smiled more than the men, replicating the earlier research. They also engaged in more “inner brow raises”, an expression taken to indicate fear or sadness. But the men frowned more. Frowns are usually taken to be a show of anger, though the researchers noted that in this study, they might have reflected greater concentration, or confusion. There were no gender differences in some other expressions, including downturned mouths.


There is an ongoing debate in psychology about the extent to which facial expressions, including smiles and frowns, actually reflect and match felt emotions. When you smile, is it always because you’re feeling happy? Or do you sometimes smile when you’re anxious? And just because you’re frowning, does it necessarily mean you’re mad – or you just want someone else to think you are?


But given work suggesting there is a close association between emotions and facial expressions, an implication of the new results is that women are more prone to feeling happy and also more anxious (or at least more inclined to show these emotions), and that men are more likely to feel angry (or more confused…), which raises the question of why might this be?


McDuff and his team suggested that at least part of the explanation could be down to the different social expectations and pressures placed on the genders. For example, there’s evidence that in many countries, happiness is seen as more desirable for girls than boys.


Such an account would help explain why the size of the observed gender differences varied around the world, being the smallest in the UK, consistent with the idea that gender-related social expectations are less marked in some countries than others.


There were a few other geographical differences: women in the US were the smiliest, while women in the UK and Germany frowned least. But the general data patterns in each of the five countries were the same.


One limitation with the study was the fact that volunteers knew they were being videoed, which might have influenced their reactions. But a major advantage was the use of rapid automated coding technology. This allowed for many more participants than would normally be practical in research on facial expressions, which are usually decoded by a researcher. Crowdsourcing volunteers and using computer-based decoding, as in this case, could open the way for many more mass-studies of emotion and behaviour.




TAG: 情绪 社会期望 性别差异
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