chapter  12
27 Pages

Universals and Cultural Differences in Emotions

ByPaula M. Niedenthal, François Ric

This chapter considers similarities in emotion processes that have been observed across the world. It introduces specific ways to define and compare cultures of the world. The chapter develops hypotheses about possible cultural differences in emotion processes and reviews the scientific evidence for these predictions. It examines how cultural rules and expectations might govern how transparent or visible emotions should be. Research on emotion began with the search for universal emotions. Scientists believed that if there were universal facial expressions, it would be evidence of evolved, total emotional states composed of all of the components, including bodily, facial, feeling, and cognitive components. The initial quest for experimental evidence in favor of the existence of universal emotions limited the focus of research on emotion to similarities. Researchers have investigated a number of specific proposed differences in the experience of emotion in cultures of honor compared mostly to northern European cultures, in which honor is not an inherent value.