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Emotion. 2014 Apr;14(2):241-5. doi: 10.1037/a0035296. Epub 2013 Dec 23.

Emotional fit with culture: a predictor of individual differences in relational well-being.

Author information

Center for Social and Cultural Psychology.
Department of Psychology, University of California.
Department of Psychology, Yonsei University.


There is increasing evidence for emotional fit in couples and groups, but also within cultures. In the current research, we investigated the consequences of emotional fit at the cultural level. Given that emotions reflect people's view on the world, and that shared views are associated with good social relationships, we expected that an individual's fit to the average cultural patterns of emotion would be associated with relational well-being. Using an implicit measure of cultural fit of emotions, we found across 3 different cultural contexts (United States, Belgium, and Korea) that (1) individuals' emotional fit is associated with their level of relational well-being, and that (2) the link between emotional fit and relational well-being is particularly strong when emotional fit is measured for situations pertaining to relationships (rather than for situations that are self-focused). Together, the current studies suggest that people may benefit from emotionally "fitting in" to their culture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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