Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado


Kyra Trimble

Faculty Sponsor

Eric Peterson and Karen Traxler


Several meta-analyses have concluded that women are more accurate at reading emotions than men, especially the recognition of nonverbal behavior shown through facial expressions. A few studies have demonstrated that women are more accurate at identifying the nonverbal behavior of other women, compared to the ability of men to read the nonverbal behavior of other men. While on average women typically outperform men in tasks involving nonverbal behavior, they also succeed at reading other women whereas men do not show this gender congruency effect. The goal of this research was to further explore this effect of congruency between the gender of the target (the stimuli) and the gender of the perceiver (the participant), and the accuracy in reading nonverbal behavior. Three tasks were used involving reading nonverbal behavior. The Diagnostic Accuracy of Nonverbal Analysis (DANVA) and the Profile of Nonverbal Accuracy (PONS) depicted individuals engaging in natural behavior, while the Emotional Bias Task portrayed morphed pictures of human actors to displaying various emotions.