When it comes to recognizing emotions in other people, women appear to be more in touch than men. A study conducted by the Université de Montréal Centre of Research in Neuropsychology and Cognition and published in the journal Neuropsychologia revealed that women process auditory, visual, and audiovisual emotions better than men.
In the study, 23 men and 23 women watched both live actors and recordings of people displaying either fear or disgust through their faces and voices. The men and women then identified which of the emotions they thought the person was feeling. Women were faster and more successful at identifying the correct emotion.
The researchers say they concentrated on fear and disgust because of a possible link to evolutionary history--recognizing the difference between these emotions is more important for survival compared with emotions such as joy.
What do this study's results mean for communication in your practice? Just being aware that there may be a difference in the way emotions are interpreted by the two sexes may help each group better understand and be more patient with the other.