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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Cultural differences in the display of emotion.

Author: Sims,-Rebecca-Christine
Author Background: State U New York At Stony Brook, US
Date 2/2000
Type Dissertation
Journal Title: Dissertation-Abstracts-International:-Section-B:-The-Sciences-and-Engineering
Volume/Pages Vol 60(7-B): 3623
Subject Matter Asian-Americans, acculturatio, Research
Abstract Previous research suggests that culture influences how we display emotion. Asian Americans generally place a greater emphasis on emotional moderation than European Americans. Most studies have used self-report measures, which may not be accurate measures of display rules. We added an observational measure in the laboratory and a peer-report measure. Asian American and European American college students observed emotion-eliciting film clips while being videotaped. Their facial expressions during the films and peer-report measures were compared to self-report measures of expressivity. Level of acculturation was also measured to examine its effects on several measures of emotional expressiveness. Asian Americans rated displaying emotion as less appropriate than European Americans; however, these cultural differences were not found for the observational measures. There was no significant relationship between self-report and observational measures for negative emotions, and acculturation affected self-report but not observational measures. These findings are suggestive of a disjunction between what people see as appropriate versus how they actually behave. However, alternative explanations for the findings are explored as well as suggestions for future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2000 APA, all rights reserved)