Google Research

You Are What You Emote: Emotional Facial Expressions Impact Sexual Orientation Judgments

  • Joshua Tabak
  • Sapna Cheryan
In the symposium, Beyond Right/Wrong: Novel Approaches to Understanding Accuracy and Consensus in Social Perception, chairs: Joshua A. Tabak and David J. Lick, 25th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C. (2013)


Emotions convey more than sentiment. We found that gendered emotional expressions modulated sexual orientation judgments from faces, consistent with stereotypes of gay individuals as gender-atypical. This is the first research on accuracy of person perceptions at the intersection of stable (sexual orientation) and fleeting (emotion) person characteristics.

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