How do men and women express emotion differently

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Terms for emotions, such as happiness and anger, are used naturally to express our semantic emotion knowledge, i.e., the mental lexicon of basic emotion terms. This study aimed to compare gender-related differences in the use of emotion terms and the correspondence between semantic emotion knowledge and episodic emotion experience via the testing of participants’ episodic emotion experience. Thirty participants were recruited for two list tasks: a Free Listing Task and a Recent Experience Task. Results show that (1) for both men and women the most salient emotion words represent an antonymic pair-sadness-happiness. (2) Some of the gender-based differences are morphological: Female participants tended to use adjectives and verbs, while most of the words mentioned by the males were nouns. (3) Female participants tended to mention objects or issues associated with emotions, while the males preferred to stay within the emotion category, such as happy and sad. Finally, when the male participants recalled their past experience, they tended to use positive words, while women used both positive and negative words.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmbodiment in Language (II)
Subtitle of host publicationFood, Emotion and Beyond
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9789811017995
ISBN (Print)9789811017971
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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