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Incredible Hulk

 

By Traci Pedersen Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 7, 2011


Body language is more likely to be perceived as masculine when it appears angry, and feminine when it conveys sadness, according to a UCLA-University of Glasgow study of baseball throws.


For the study, researchers recorded male and female actors throwing baseballs in a way that conveyed a specific emotion. Then, volunteers watched the videos (technology was used to disguise the thrower’s gender) and were asked to guess both the throwers’ gender and emotion.


“Even when observers received minimal information, they were able to discern the thrower’s emotion,” said Dr. Kerri Johnson, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of communication studies and psychology at UCLA.


“The findings fit with a growing body of work that shows some ‘snap’ judgments are highly accurate. But when it comes to deciding whether the actors were male or female, judgments tended to be less accurate, and that may be because perceptions are colored by longstanding stereotypes about masculine and feminine behavior.”


The study appears in the current issue of Cognition.


For the research, Frank Pollick, a cognitive scientist at the University of Glasgow, and Lawrie McKay, then a graduate student at the university, recorded 30 male and female actors wearing markers with 3-D motion-capture systems similar to those used in the making of computer-animated films such as “Avatar.” The technology consists of strategically attaching little white dots to the actors’ arms and hands, allowing observers to see only the body’s movements against a black background.


The actors were then asked to throw balls in ways that expressed specific emotions, including anger and sadness. The researchers chose baseball throwing because it is easily recognizable and gender neutral but lends itself to a wide range of variations.


Read in Full:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/03/07/anger-perceived-as-masculine-sadness-as-feminine/24167.html



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