Date of Submission

Spring 2023

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Sarah Dunphy-Lelii

Project Advisor 2

Justin Dainer-Best

Abstract/Artist's Statement

As children grow, their artistic depictions of emotions become more accurate; however, these depictions become more influenced by gender roles and social expectations. Research shows that though gender does not influence the ability to depict emotion, it does have an effect on the style used to artistically depict emotion (Vendeville et al., 2018). A majority of the research on this topic is done on grade school children, because of both physical and cognitive development that occurs between the ages of five and ten. The goal of this study is to see if these results can generalize to a younger population of preschoolers. Participants are children from the Abigail Lundquist Botstein Nursery School and Children’s Center. I read short stories about a character who experiences a target emotion that is not explicitly stated (e.g. sadness, happiness, anger). I then asked participants to depict the emotion of the character on a printed image of a blank face, and naive coders used a rating scale to distinguish gender differences in the drawings and whether or not they depict the target emotion. I hypothesized that the older age group will produce a larger percentage of drawings that depict the target emotion from the story. This is the main dependent variable in the study. I also hypothesized that the older children will show a larger gender difference in their drawings than the younger age group.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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