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Title
Gender differences in experiential and facial reactivity to approval and disapproval during emotional social interactions / Nicole Wiggert, Frank H. Wilhelm, Birgit Derntl and Jens Blechert
AuthorWiggert, Nicole ; Wilhelm, Frank H. ; Blechert, Jens ; Derntl, Birgit
Published in
Frontiers in Psychology, Lausanne, 2015,
Published2015
DescriptionDiagramme
LanguageEnglish
Document typeJournal Article
Keywords (EN)sex differences / social evaluation / emotion / facial electromyography / social interaction
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubs:3-195 Persistent Identifier (URN)
DOI10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01372 
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 The work is publicly available
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Gender differences in experiential and facial reactivity to approval and disapproval during emotional social interactions [0.99 mb]
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Abstract (English)

Negative social evaluations represent social threats and elicit negative emotions such as anger or fear. Positive social evaluations, by contrast, may increase self-esteem and generate positive emotions such as happiness and pride. Gender differences are likely to shape both the perception and expression of positive and negative social evaluations. Yet, current knowledge is limited by a reliance on studies that used static images of individual expressers with limited external validity. Furthermore, only few studies considered gender differences on both the expresser and perceiver side. The present study approached these limitations by utilizing a naturalistic stimulus set displaying nine males and nine females (expressers) delivering social evaluative sentences to 32 female and 26 male participants (perceivers). Perceivers watched 30 positive, 30 negative, and 30 neutral messages while facial electromyography (EMG) was continuously recorded and subjective ratings were obtained. Results indicated that men expressing positive evaluations elicited stronger EMG responses in both perceiver genders. Arousal was rated higher when positive evaluations were expressed by the opposite gender. Thus, gender differences need to be more explicitly considered in research of social cognition and affective science using naturalistic social stimuli.