Human sex differences in emotion prediction: Evidence from event-related potentials

Guangming Ran1
1Department of Psychology, Institute of Education, China West Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Ran, G. (2018). Human sex differences in emotion prediction: Evidence from event-related potentials. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 46(6), 925-934.

Volume 46 Issue 6 | e6769 | Published: June 2018 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.6769

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Women and men process emotion stimuli in different ways. Few of the previous researchers who have examined how emotion recognition differs between the sexes, looked at sex differences in emotion prediction. Thus, I investigated women’s and men’s perceptions of emotional faces in predictable and unpredictable conditions. Results showed that behaviorally, women’s response accuracy was higher than men’s. In contrast, neurally, men had greater P1 amplitudes for happy faces compared with angry faces in right hemisphere electrodes, suggesting that men have a perceptual bias toward happy faces. Further, women exhibited larger N170 amplitudes for predictable versus unpredictable angry faces in right hemisphere electrodes. This may reflect enhanced sensitivity to detecting anger. Finally, there was a significant positive correlation between behavioral and N170 predictability effects. This result may indicate that emotion prediction enhances neural responses while improving recognition efficiency at the behavioral level. In this respect, the electrophysiological results and behavioral data were consistent.

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