To What Extent Does Culture Affect Emotion

To What Extent Does Culture Affect Emotion?
Dion & Dion Psychology Study

ALIANNA: Hi, my name is Alianna. This is Mia. This is Karisma. Recently in Psychology class, we learned about a new study from the researchers DION & DION that INVESTIGATES THE INFLUENCE OF INDIVIDUALISTIC (USA & Canada) and COLLECTIVISTIC (Japan, India, and China) CULTURES on ROMANTIC LOVE and INTIMACY in MARRIAGE. INDIVIDUALISTIC CULTURE: a group of people who put their own needs before the needs of the group. COLLECTIVISTIC CULTURE: a group of people who put the needs of the group before their own.

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KARISMA: This RLS sparked our interest because Mia and I had psychology class last year, whereas Alianna is currently in psychology class. Since we grew up differently in different cultural backgrounds, in which help developed us into who we are as a person today, we wanted to work around somewhere about culture. Last year, we were introduced to a unit about the differences between individualism and collectivism with studies that demonstrates it. However, we pulled out a study that Alianna learned about this year in her psychology class, and it talked about the two different cultures and its relationship with emotions. Since we learned a unit about emotions this year in this class, it sparked our interest to use the psychology study by Dion and Dion since it had both components that we all were interested in.

Mia: So for our knowledge question, it is, “TO WHAT EXTENT IS EMOTIONS AFFECTED BY CULTURE?”
Our question is SIGNIFICANT because a deeper understanding of the relationship between cultures and emotions can lead an individual to become more open-minded and accepting.

KARISMA: So to define the terms in our question. CULTURE: the cultivation of traditions, art, and language that define a certain society. EMOTION: a state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. AFFECT: A way to create a difference or have influences from different factors.
So the connection between the RLS and the KNOWLEDGE QUESTION is that the study by Dion and Dion focused on the differences of individualistic/collectivistic cultures and how it creates a social norm on how love should be treated as. Individualistic prefer love more than other factors in intimate relationships, whereas collectivistic cultures don’t value love as high.

Mia: Emotion is greatly affected by culture because when we’re first born we don’t have an understanding of what emotion is. Just things that we like and things we don’t. As we get older and start to observe the world around us we begin to assume we’re suppose to feel a certain way about certain situations.

Karisma: Another AoK is History. History is a series of recorded past event that is examined to understand the current or present events. In the past, people’s knowledge was limited because of the lack of technology and experiments to research the different reactions that people experience and express. In a Ted Talk that I watched called, “The History of Emotions,” the speaker mentioned that during the 12th century in Europe, it was believed that the expression of yawning is to express one’s love. However, that changed in modern times, since it is known to be an expression of tiredness and boredness. Shows that culture and emotions change overtime because of the improvement of research and technology to study human emotions. In Japan, there is a emotion called, “AMAE,” which describes the pleasure of letting someone take care of you. Basically, the emotion of being dependent to another. This shows that different parts of the world describe different kind of emotions. In order to understand the feeling, rather than reading the definition, there is a need to understand the culture behind the word. As for Japan, they live in a collectivist culture and was developed from their history to understand the meaning and feeling of the emotion.

Alianna: Ethics is another Aok that can affect emotion because it allows us to measure what’s right and wrong. For example if a married man decided to “spend the night” with another woman that would be considered unethical(wrong). If the man’s wife were to find out she would most likely be heartbroken and the man will probably feel guilty. However if the man and his wife were in an open relationship then the wife would most likely be unaffected by the fact that her husband is having an affair because it wouldn’t be considered unethical on her viewpoint.


Emotions: Serves as a way to help individuals decide their emotional attachment and commitment to different situations. Psychologists distinguish “primary emotions” that is considered to be universal: sad, happy, angry, surprise, fear, and disgust.

Language: Serves as a way to communicate with verbal cues, and vocal inflection that convey our thoughts based on personal and shared knowledge.

Bias- A bias that

The pragmatic truth test
– States that if something is true it’s useful.
Culture limits how emotions are felt and expressed in a culture. It shapes the ways people should feel in certain situations and the ways people should express their emotions. In Thailand the people try to avoid confrontation at all cost. They will most likely mile and laugh at situations where there might be conflict because that is how that culture expresses dealing with aggression. So it would be useful in preventing a situation from escalating because if you’re trying to confront someone about bumping into you, for example and all you get is them smiling and laughing in your face then you’ll probably become more angry.

The coherence truth test
A statement is true if it consists with other things that are true.
. An example of our knowledge question being true is tipping. In America we usually tip our waiters and waitresses when we enjoy the food and their service, which in turn makes the waiter/waitress happy, but in Japan It’s considered rude and it basically translates to you saying that they look like they need the extra help. This can lead to the waiter feeling angry or embarrassed. Based on the U.S and Japan having different feelings on tipping it’s safe to assume that this is due to the cultural difference.