Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 29–53

Communication of specific emotions: Gender differences in sending accuracy and communication measures

  • H. L. Wagner
  • Ross Buck
  • Meg Winterbotham

DOI: 10.1007/BF00987007

Cite this article as:
Wagner, H.L., Buck, R. & Winterbotham, M. J Nonverbal Behav (1993) 17: 29. doi:10.1007/BF00987007


Men and women were videotaped while they silently viewed emotionally toned slides (view period) and then described their feelings (talk period). They then rated their feelings on scales of pleasantness, strength, and 10 specific emotions. Videotapes of the two sending periods separately were shown to receivers who tried to identify the type of slide that the sender was viewing or describing (categorization measure) and rated the senders' expressions on the same scales (emotion correlation measure). Results indicated that communication accuracy, and gender differences in sending, varied with sending period, type of slide, communication measure, and specific emotion. On the categorization measure, women were generally better senders. On the emotion correlation measures, women were better senders of pleasantness, disgust, distress, fear, and anger while men were slightly better senders of guilt. Accuracy was generally better in the view period than in the talk period, and the view period produced more pronounced gender differences. It is argued that categorization and correlation measures are sensitive to different aspects of emotion communication. Used in conjunction with modifications of the slide viewing paradigm, the two types of measure provide versatile means of investigating social aspects of emotional expression.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. L. Wagner
    • 1
  • Ross Buck
  • Meg Winterbotham
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterEngland

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