A recent study has shown that how we understand the emotional expression of a face or voice is strongly influenced by the perceived gender, and vice versa. The research is published in the journal ‘Emotion’.
The study also found that faces and voices are more likely to be judged as masculine when they are angry and as feminine when they are happy. dr. Sebastian Korb, of the Department of Psychology, hoped the research will expand and make us more aware of our built-in biases.
He said: “This study shows how important it is not to rely too much on your first impressions, because they can easily be wrong.” ,” he added.
“Interestingly, there was no gender gap in how a face’s perceived gender influenced emotional judgments — but women were slightly more sensitive to subtle changes in emotion in general,” he concluded.
The study used 121 avatar faces and 121 human voices, created by changing emotional expression in degrees from happy to angry, and gender on a sliding scale from male to female. A total of 256 participants in three studies were shown the mock-ups or the voices played and asked to rate emotions and whether someone was male or female.
When comparing the magnitude of the effects for both faces and voices, it appeared that emotion influenced the experience of sex more than the other way around. This is thought to be due to an unconscious activation of the amygdala – an important emotional center in the brain.
This almond-shaped cluster of neurons deep in the brain allows us to quickly detect and respond to threats, like an angry attacker, but is not involved in determining a person’s gender. It has also been speculated that being biased towards seeing men as angry is an evolutionary advantage, as it prepares for a fight or flight response.
Read all the latest news, breaking news and IPL 2022 Live Updates here.