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Emotion Perception and Gender Factor in Stress

Perceptions of Emotion

The James-Lange theory says that every physical state of a person influences one’s emotions and mood. For instance, if one smiles, he or she is likely to feel happy. Both James and Lange (they developed the same theory together) think that every move, activity, and action has a particular impact on people’s feelings. Our brain receives various signals from different parts of the body (e.g., eyes if we cry, mouth if we smile, and heart if we are surprised) and acts by them (Freberg, 2016). Usually, when people move their facial muscles, they do not realize that their moods change.

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This is why mad personalities are always glum, whereas joyful individuals can hardly stop smiling. Our emotions play a significant role in our careers, relationships with families and friends, and other factors that surround us daily (Freberg, 2016). As a rule, people who are open to new acquaintances, enjoy every moment of their lives, and do not hesitate to express their emotions, are more successful and happier than antisocial individuals (Freberg, 2016). Our colleagues, family members, and friends always want to see cheerful and happy people near them. Therefore, many adults like to entertain themselves by going to restaurants, cinemas, and other facilities to acquire new feelings and gain more vital energy.

The exercise presented in a video format relates to the topic described above by explaining that sometimes people might display fake emotions. This source explains how to differentiate smirks and sincere smiles by spotting the wrinkles that occur below a person’s eyes (Wiseman, 2014). This knowledge is very helpful in everyday life because some individuals show constrained smiles to please their conversation companions. Unfortunately, some people cannot tell the differences between honest and fake emotions and have relationships with personalities who do not care about their lives as a result. Does it mean that a person does not want to have a conversation with one’s friend if he or she expresses fake emotions?

Gender and Stress

It is a well-known fact that women and men react to the same stressful situations differently. This factor is caused by the fact that females’ bodies produce a specific hormone that is called oxytocin (Jackson, 2010). This element helps women to cope with their emotions when they feel drained and stressed. In turn, the hormone of testosterone (produced by males) makes people more expressive and aggressive in their daily lives (Kumsta & Heinrichs, 2013). Therefore, men are less calm than their wives or girlfriends. Moreover, males demonstrate a more hostile response to stress, whereas women display a more nurturing sign (Jackson, 2010).

It would be proper to mention that representatives of the female gender have a large behavioral repertoire due to the hormone mentioned above (Jackson, 2010). Another factor that accounts for the differences in response between the sexes is the social support that individuals acquire from people who surround them. In particular, women are always supported by their friends, husbands, and children (Jackson, 2010). Therefore, they feel safer than men who do not expect anyone to show compassion to them. It is necessary to state that people with the fewest social connections have approximately two and a half times greater chance of dying than those with the most social connections.

Although there are several general theories about differences between genders in coping with stress, some individual factors and reasons imply personal qualities in such situations. For instance, some people take every unfortunate outcome close to heart, and they need to avoid stressful feelings as they might hurt their health (Kumsta & Heinrichs, 2013). However, other individuals are motivated by their failures and mistakes as they acquire additional energy to overcome particular difficulties (Kumsta & Heinrichs, 2013). Although many scientists claim that women’s bodies produce more oxytocin hormones to confront stress, does it mean that they have less stressful situations and disappointments in their lives?


Freberg, L. A. (2016). Discovering behavioral neuroscience: An introduction to biological psychology (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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Jackson, J. (2010). Gender & stress [Video file]. Web.

Kumsta, R., & Heinrichs, M. (2013). Oxytocin, stress and social behavior: Neurogenetics of the human oxytocin system. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 23(1), 11-16. Web.

Wiseman, R. (2014). Can you spot a fake smile [Video file]? Web.

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