It’s a stereotype that has improved a little over the years but still persists: women are more emotionally expressive than men. Like Bridget Jones, we constantly reveal exactly how we’re feeling, while men, Mark Darcy-like, look on impassively.
Although prior evidence suggests that women really do smile more often, a new study, published in PLOS One, has considered a greater variety of facial expressions, and it finds that the gender pattern is more complex, with some emotions displayed more by men than women. Arguably, this work helps to reveal not only differences in the emotional signals men and women send to others, but also differences in the emotions that we feel.
Daniel McDuff of Microsoft Research, Redmond, US and his team used a new automated facial coding technology to analyse the expressions of 2,106 people as they watched a series of 10 video adverts at home.
美国微软雷德蒙研究院的 McDuff 和他的团队使用了一种新的自动面部编码技术分析了2106人的表情，他们在家里观看了一系列的10个视频广告。
The participants were crowdsourced from France, Germany, China, the US and the UK. While they watched ads from their own countries on everything from confectionary to cars, their webcams streamed images of their faces to a remote server.
The women smiled more than the men, replicating the earlier research. They also engaged in more “inner brow raises”, an expression taken to indicate fear or sadness. But the men frowned more. Frowns are usually taken to be a show of anger, though the researchers noted that in this study, they might have reflected greater concentration, or confusion. There were no gender differences in some other expressions, including downturned mouths.