Dr. Daniel Tranel
Participation year
Project title

Differences in Experience and Expression of Emotions Between Blacks and Whites


Emotions are a part of our everyday lives; emotions often govern what we do and how we react to a certain situation. Our emotions are more than just an ever-changing mood; they embody our personality and behavioral traits. Emotion has been linked to human behavior by multiple academic articles, but still, very little is known about emotion and how it translates to human behavior. How do individuals differ in the way they experience and express emotion? Is there a gender or race difference? These are the questions that we set out to answer during my summer research in the Tranel laboratory within the Neurology department at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Through an array of techniques and measures, we assessed multiple individual’s emotional experience and expression to a series of emotion inducing short film clips and compared their results across both gender and race. The aim of our research is to determine if there is in fact a difference in how differing ethnicities and genders experience and express emotion. Our preliminary results have shown a subtle difference of emotional experience between both races and gender when comparing black and white females to one another as well as including white males. Further testing it required to make general statements regarding this ever important question of how differing races and genders experience and express their emotions.

Raymond  Sanders
University of Iowa