In the West, we have both distrust and appreciation towards emotion.
Where we derive our appreciation for emotion.
Romanticists are fascinated by the natural. Wild scenery, previously thought barbarous, began to be valued.
Romanticism: period that started around 1750 in Europe, in which primacy of the natural and of the emotions was
stressed, as compared with the artificial and with the dictates of convention.
A cultural approach involves the assumption that emotions are constructed primarily by the processes of
Second assumption is that emotions can be thought of as roles that people fulfill to play out culture-specific
identities and relationships.
Potentialmeans asking whether people of different cultures, if put in an appropriate experimental
situation, would be capable of showing certain universal emotional responses in terms of experience,
expression, and physiology.
Practicerefers to what actually happens in people's emotional lives (they do differ from one culture
Mesquita contends that cultural approaches contend on the "practice" of emotion, in contrast to the
Assert one's uniqueness and independence, to define self according to unique traits and
Focuses on internal causes, such as one's own dispositions or preferences which are thought to
be stable over time and social context.
Independentself construal or individualism, the self is autonomous and separate from others.
Imperative is to find one's status, identity and roles within the community.
Emphasis on social context and situational influences on behaviour, where one is ever-
changing, shifting, and shaped by different contexts, relationships, and roles.
Interdependentself construal or collectivist, the self is fundamentally connected with other people.
Values: the broad principles that govern our social behaviour.
Elicitors: event that starts some emotion, or some action.
In USA today fear, for instance of terrorism, tends to be hypercognized, while shame tends to be
Hypocognized/Hypocognized: cultural emphasis (hyper) or de-emphasis (hypo) in language and thinking
about some particular state such as emotion.
The theme of the chapter is the values, concepts, and ideas about the self, as expressed in art forms, rituals, social
practices and institutions, shape how members of particular societies experience emotion, and that these matters
East Asians are guided in their knowledge and thought by a holistic, dialectical system of thought that has its
roots in the great intellectual traditions of East Asia, including Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
Change so that nothing is static.
Contradiction, that opposites often are consistent and both true.
Covariation, so that events are interrelated in complex fields or systems.
Compromise, so that truth may lie in the synthesis of opposites.
Context, so that events occur not alone but in contexts.
This epistemology has five principles:
East Asians experience greater emotional complexity than Westerners do.
Experience sampling: method of asking a participant to respond to an electronic signal several times
a day, by recording current mood and other variables.
Emotional complexity: the simultaneous experience of contradictory emotions, such as happiness and
sadness, compassion and contempt, or anger and love.
Epistemologies: study of knowledge, and of how one can know things.
Display rules: implicit rules, proposed by Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen, of what emotions can and cannot
be expressed in particular circumstances.
Cultures have been found to differ in their emotional responses according to whether the elicitors of emotion are
socially "engaging" and involve other people, or "disengaging" so that they primarily involve the self.
Ethnographies: description of ethnic groups, cultures, and customs.
Historical method: the use of historical documents to learn about people in the past.
Chapter 3. Cultural Understandings of Emotions
Thursday, February 03, 2011