Feel differently: which affects our emotions

For people who are prone to think more about the other, more typical of the complex emotional experiences, the scientists found. From which still depends what we feel?

Feel differently: which affects our emotions

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Psychologists Igor Grossman and Alex Hen (Alex Hyunh) from the University of Waterloo (University of Waterloo, Canada), together with Phoebe Ellsworth (Phoebe Ellsworth) from the University of Michigan (USA) conducted a large-scale study to find out how different the complexity of emotional distress among residents of different countries .

First, the researchers analyzed more than one million English-language web pages from different countries. At the same time they were looking for parts of the text in which the words describing positive and negative emotions were close (no more than two other words in between). It turned out that Malaysian, Filipino and Singaporean sites mixed emotions mentioned much more frequently than in the American, Canadian, Irish, British and New Zealand.

In the next stages of the stages of research scientists interested in how the inhabitants of the USA, Japan, Russia, India, the UK and Germany describe what emotions they had to experience in different situations (pleasant and unpleasant). Data analysis revealed a common pattern - the inhabitants of the countries where the dominant culture of individualism (English-speaking), experiencing less complex emotional experiences than people in countries where traditionally the emphasis is on teamwork and the relationship between the members of society (Russia, Asian countries). Western European countries (except the UK) and South Africa were roughly in the middle.

"In all of our research, we found that the more cultural ideals urged to think about others and not about yourself, the more complex and richer emotional experience of the culture media. Moreover, for people who tend to think more about others, generally more common complex emotional experience regardless of the culture of the society in which they live. Representatives of culture based on the "other", more likely to experience complex emotional distress due to the fact that the best can look at the situation from different points of view. For example, loss of a job - of course, unpleasant event, but on the other hand, this is a great opportunity to spend more time with your family or try something completely new. If a person lives in a culture where personal achievement are valued above all else, he is likely to see in this situation, only the negative aspects, "- says the study's lead author Igor Grossmann, professor in the department of psychology at the University of Waterloo. "In Western countries, many feel mixed emotions a sign of indecision, even weakness. However, our research shows that Westerners, and people of other cultures, able to experience complex, ambiguous emotional experience, it is better able to distinguish between your own emotions and the whole of their lives emotionally richer and more balanced ", - adds the scientist.

See. I. Grossmann et al. "Emotional Complexity: Clarifying Definitions and Cultural Correlates", Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, December 2015.