Perceptions of Others' Emotions

Open Access
Doorey, Alicia Ann
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Stephanie A Shields, Thesis Supervisor
  • William Ray, Honors Advisor
  • William Ray, Faculty Reader
  • emotional expression
  • perception
  • passionate restraint
  • competence
  • emotional authenticity
  • emotional self-control
How do perceptions of anger expressions differ for men and women? To investigate this question, I designed a 3 (emotional expression: open, PR, closed) x 2 (gender of protagonist) vignette study. Participants were 190 (95 men, 95 women) undergraduate students at the Pennsylvania State University. Participants were randomly assigned to a vignette condition, after which a brief questionnaire was completed. I predict perceptions of competence to be highest for female protagonists and for those displaying passionate restraint (PR) emotional expression as opposed to an open or closed display. Results did not support the research hypothesis. Instead, anger was found to confer competence equally for both women and men. No significant differences were found in perceptions of competence for different emotional expression types. Further research is necessary to investigate the relationship between gender, status and emotion expression type in relation to an observers’ perceptions.