I love you but ... Cultural differences in complexity of emotional experience during interaction with a romantic partner

Michelle Shiota, Belinda Campos, Gian C. Gonzaga, Dacher Keltner, Kaiping Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies suggest that emotional complexity-the experience of positive and negative emotion in response to the same event-is unusual in Western samples. However, recent research finds that the co-occurrence of positive and negative emotion during unstructured situations is more common among East Asians than Westerners, consistent with theories emphasising the prevalence of dialectical folk epistemology in East-Asian culture. The present study builds upon previous research by examining Asian- and European-Americans' experience of a particular positive emotion-love-and a situationally appropriate negative emotion during four structured laboratory conversations with their romantic partner. Among Asian Americans, love and the experience of negative emotion were typically less negatively correlated during these conversations than was true for European Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-799
Number of pages14
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 14 2010

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Emotion
  • Emotional complexity
  • Love
  • Romance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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