Cultural Differences in the Overtness and Covertness of Positive and Negative Emotion

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Chelsea M. Hughes (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Derrick Wirtz

Abstract: Recent research suggests that positive emotions are more often seen less often hidden and more often discussed than negative emotions in Western culture. These results support the Western preference towards the maximization of positive emotion. Studies also show that East Asian culture places less emphasis on positive emotion and instead prefers the constructive value of negative emotion. This study hypothesized that just as the maximization of positive emotion is demonstrated through affect display in Americans so too will the importance of group harmony in East Asians. This would manifest itself in a more similarities between the display of positive and negative emotion as well as in the discussion of positive and negative emotional experiences. Research has also suggested that the perceived happiness of others affects our own view of what is a "normal" level of happiness - specifically that Americans perceive others to be happier than they really are which in turn makes them less happy. This study begins to explore whether or not the same notion exists in East Asian culture.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Date: 2013
culture, affect display, emotion regulation, emotion, cultural differences, Singapore

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