Brandi Champ

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Donald Witters

Degree Award Date

Spring 2000


Gender Differences, Emotion Expression, Close Relationships, Less Developed Relationships


Psychology | Social Psychology


The purpose of this study was to demonstrate gender differences in expressing certain emotions (aggression, disappointment, happiness, and anger), and to show that males and females in close relationships express negative emotions more intensely and frequently than do those in less developed relationships. Emotion expression is defined as what a person displays to others either in a conscious and deliberate manner or through the results of habit of expression that accumulates with past experiences. The subjects {N=93) were given a questionnaire to complete during class. This questionnaire consisted of questions pertaining to emotions expressed by the subject or his/her partner in the subjects' current or most recent dating relationship. The study was analyzed using a 2 X 2 factorial design. Means and standard deviations were reported for degree of emotional expression by gender, and expression of anger in relationship vignettes in different levels of relationship development. Results indicate that females tend to express emotions dealing with powerlessness (disappointment, sadness, and fear) more intensely than males. Males and females express anger at similar intensity levels. Also, women in well-developed relationships express negative emotions more than men in the same level of relationship and all individuals in less-developed relationships.