Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Publisher’s Version

Publication Date

6-2015

Abstract

Facial expressions are valuable for conveying and understanding the inner thoughts and feelings of the expressor. However, the adaptive value associated with a specific expression on a male face is different from a female face. The present review uses a functional-evolutionary analysis to elucidate the evolutionary advantage in the expression and perception of angry-male and happy-female faces over angry-female and happy-male faces. For the expressors, it is more advantageous for men to show angry facial expression as it signals dominance, averts aggression and deters mate poaching; it is more advantageous for women to display happy facial expression as it signals their willingness for childcare, tending and befriending. For the perceivers, those sensitive to angry men avoid being physically harmed while those sensitive to happy women gain social support. Extant evidence suggests that facial structure and cognitive mechanisms evolved to express and perceive angry-male and happy-female faces more efficiently compared to angry-female and happy-male faces.

Keywords

facial emotion, affect, evolution, sexual roles, sexual selection, happiness;anger

Discipline

Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Social Psychology

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Frontiers in Psychology

Volume

6

First Page

851-1

Last Page

6

ISSN

1664-1078

Identifier

10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00851

Publisher

Frontiers Media

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00851

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