Murray State Theses and Dissertations


The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of two individual differences on ratings of attraction toward male facial expressions of emotion. Specifically, the influence of participants’ empathy and romantic attachment style on their attraction ratings of a target that displayed one of four emotions (i.e., sad, angry, happy, or neutral expression) was analyzed. This study found no relationship between empathy and participants’ attraction ratings; however, participant romantic attachment style did predict her attraction toward male emotional expressions. Specifically, individuals categorized as having an avoidant attachment style were less attracted to the happy expression than were those categorized as having a secure or an anxious attachment style. In addition, individuals with a secure or an avoidant attachment style were more attracted to the neutral expression than were those with an ambivalent attachment style. Consequently, this study furthered our understanding of variables influencing the variance in female attraction toward male facial expressions of emotion.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

Empathy, Romantic Attachment Style, Expressions of Emotion

Degree Awarded

Master of Arts




College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Thesis Advisor

Jana Hackathorn

Committee Chair

Jana Hackathorn

Committee Member

Sean Rife

Committee Member

Paul Anderson

Committee Member

Paul Walker

Document Type