Current Psychology

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 422–433 | Cite as

Emotion Expression and Color: Their Joint Influence on Perceived Attractiveness and Social Position

  • Vanessa L. Buechner
  • Markus A. Maier
  • Stephanie Lichtenfeld
  • Andrew J. Elliot


This research examined the joint influence of emotion expression (pride vs. shame) and color (red vs. blue) on female and male perceptions of the attractiveness and social position of a male target. In female perceivers, we observed an Emotion Expression x Color interaction: for women viewing a man displaying pride, the color red increased their perceptions of his attractiveness, but for women viewing a man displaying shame, the color red tended to decrease their perceptions of his attractiveness. Male perceivers did not show this Emotion Expression x Color interaction. A main effect of emotion expression was observed for both male and female perceivers on both status and dominance ratings, independent of color. These findings point to a moderator of the influence of the color red in female mate evaluation, and illustrate the powerful, embodied connection between emotion expression and social position.


Emotion Pride Shame Color Red Attractiveness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa L. Buechner
    • 1
  • Markus A. Maier
    • 1
  • Stephanie Lichtenfeld
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Elliot
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in PsychologyUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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