Sex differences in emotional awareness

Lisa Feldman Barrett, Richard D. Lane, Lee Sechrest, Gary E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


The present study examined sex differences in the complexity and differentiation of people's representations of emotional experience. Female participants from seven different samples, ranging in age, scholastic performance, socioeconomic status, and culture, scored higher on a performance test of emotional awareness than did male participants. Women consistently displayed more complexity and differentiation in their articulations of emotional experiences than did men, even when the effect of verbal intelligence was controlled. Together, the findings suggest that a sex difference in display of emotional awareness is a stable, highly generalizable effect. Implications of these findings are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1035
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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