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Effects of Brain Laterality on Decoding Accuracy for Facial Displays of Emotion
Unformatted Document Text:  Effects of Brain 20 expressions of these emotions accurately. 5 Overall, participants correctly decoded expressions of the basic emotions 94.1% of the time, compared to only 35.4% of the time for the complex emotions. This difference is statistically significant, z = 19.57, p < .001. Discussion In this experiment we investigated the effects of neurological hemispheric dominance and biological sex on the ability to decode facial affect displays accurately. Although we had speculated that hemispheric dominance might exert a main effect on decoding accuracy, the existing research provided abundant reason to expect the influence of hemispheric dominance to be moderated by biological sex. Our results, which manifested a significant dominance-by-sex interaction, confirmed this latter speculation. The main effect of hemispheric dominance was nonsignificant and the significant main effect of sex was uninterpretable due to the disordinal nature of its interaction with hemispheric dominance. Importantly, the interaction was made disordinal only by the relative position of AD males, whose accuracy score of 6.78 was substantially closer to the average accuracy score for women (6.76) than to the average accuracy score for men (6.25). Bodary and Miller (2000, p. 94) suggested that women and AD men process nonverbal information similarly. In effect, they proposed, anomalous dominance in men has effects similar to those seen for psychological femininity, including a heightened interpersonal sensitivity (relative to that observed in other men). The clearest conclusion to be drawn from these data is that, in terms of facial affect decoding ability, mixed hemispheric dominance is an asset to women but a detriment to men. Women apparently benefit from being neither predominantly left-brained nor predominantly right-brained when it comes to interpreting facial affect displays; mixed dominance appears to

Authors: Floyd, Kory. and Mikkelson, Alan.
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Effects of Brain 20
expressions of these emotions accurately.
5
Overall, participants correctly decoded expressions of
the basic emotions 94.1% of the time, compared to only 35.4% of the time for the complex
emotions. This difference is statistically significant, z = 19.57, p < .001.
Discussion
In this experiment we investigated the effects of neurological hemispheric dominance and
biological sex on the ability to decode facial affect displays accurately. Although we had
speculated that hemispheric dominance might exert a main effect on decoding accuracy, the
existing research provided abundant reason to expect the influence of hemispheric dominance to
be moderated by biological sex. Our results, which manifested a significant dominance-by-sex
interaction, confirmed this latter speculation. The main effect of hemispheric dominance was
nonsignificant and the significant main effect of sex was uninterpretable due to the disordinal
nature of its interaction with hemispheric dominance.
Importantly, the interaction was made disordinal only by the relative position of AD
males, whose accuracy score of 6.78 was substantially closer to the average accuracy score for
women (6.76) than to the average accuracy score for men (6.25). Bodary and Miller (2000, p.
94) suggested that women and AD men process nonverbal information similarly. In effect, they
proposed, anomalous dominance in men has effects similar to those seen for psychological
femininity, including a heightened interpersonal sensitivity (relative to that observed in other
men).
The clearest conclusion to be drawn from these data is that, in terms of facial affect
decoding ability, mixed hemispheric dominance is an asset to women but a detriment to men.
Women apparently benefit from being neither predominantly left-brained nor predominantly
right-brained when it comes to interpreting facial affect displays; mixed dominance appears to


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