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Journal Article

Social Class, Sex, and the Ability to Recognize Emotions: The Main Effect is in the Interaction


Frankenhuis,  Willem E.
Criminology, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Max Planck Society;

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Brener, S. A., Frankenhuis, W. E., Young, E. S., & Ellis, B. J. (2023). Social Class, Sex, and the Ability to Recognize Emotions: The Main Effect is in the Interaction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. doi:10.1177/01461672231159775.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-F1DB-D
Previous research has demonstrated an inverse relation between subjective social class (SSC) and performance on emotion recognition tasks. Study 1 (N = 418) involved a preregistered replication of this effect using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Task and the Cambridge Mindreading Face-Voice Battery. The inverse relation replicated; however, exploratory analyses revealed a significant interaction between sex and SSC in predicting emotion recognition, indicating that the effect was driven by males. In Study 2 (N = 745), we preregistered and tested the interaction on a separate archival dataset. The interaction replicated; the association between SSC and emotion recognition again occurred only in males. Exploratory analyses (Study 3; N = 381) examined the generalizability of the interaction to incidental face memory. Our results underscore the need to reevaluate previous research establishing the main effects of social class and sex on emotion recognition abilities, as these effects apparently moderate each other.