The confounded nature of angry men and happy women

David Becker, Douglas Kenrick, Steven Neuberg, K. C. Blackwell, Dylan M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

317 Scopus citations


Findings of 7 studies suggested that decisions about the sex of a face and the emotional expressions of anger or happiness are not independent: Participants were faster and more accurate at detecting angry expressions on male faces and at detecting happy expressions on female faces. These findings were robust across different stimulus sets and judgment tasks and indicated bottom-up perceptual processes rather than just top-down conceptually driven ones. Results from additional studies in which neutrally expressive faces were used suggested that the connections between masculine features and angry expressions and between feminine features and happy expressions might be a property of the sexual dimorphism of the face itself and not merely a result of gender stereotypes biasing the perception. (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-190
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Anger
  • Ecological psychology
  • Emotional expressions
  • Face perception
  • Happiness
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The confounded nature of angry men and happy women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this