Linda Cheng

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)



First Advisor

Dr. Robert Sattelmeyer - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Diana L. Robins


This study analyzed racial differences in the way African Americans and Caucasians perceive emotion from facial expressions and tone of voice. Participants were African American (n=25) and Caucasian (n=26) college students. The study utilizes 56 images of African American and Caucasian faces balanced for race and sex from the NimStim stimulus set (Tottenham, 2006). The study also utilized visual and auditory stimuli form the DANVA2. Participants were asked to judged emotion for each stimulus in the tasks. The BFRT, the WASI, and the Seashore Rhythm test were used as exclusionary criteria. In general the study found few differences in the way African Americans and Caucasians perceived emotion, though racial differences emerged as an interaction with other factors. The results of the study supported the theory of universality of emotion perception and expression though social influences, which may affect emotion perception, is also a possibility. Areas of future research were discussed.