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Psychophysiology. 2016 Jan;53(1):41-51. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12579.

Convergence in feeling, divergence in physiology: How culture influences the consequences of disgust suppression and amplification among European Americans and Asian Americans.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.
2
Office of Organizational Effectiveness, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington, USA.
3
School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Abstract

Much empirical work documents the downsides of suppressing emotions. Emerging research points to the need for a more sophisticated and culturally informed approach to understanding the consequences of emotion regulation. To that end, we employed behavioral, self-report, and psychophysiological measures to examine the consequences of two types of emotion regulation (suppression and amplification) in a sample of 28 Asian Americans and 31 European Americans. Participants were shown a neutral film and then a series of disgust-eliciting films during which they were asked to regulate their response by suppressing or amplifying their emotional behavior (counterbalanced). Despite self-reporting equal levels of disgust, European Americans showed greater skin conductance reactivity than Asian Americans in both regulation conditions, but not in response to a neutral film. These findings extend work on divergence in the consequences of emotion regulation across different cultural groups, which could help identify optimal emotion regulation strategies for health and well-being.

KEYWORDS:

Amplification; Asian Americans; Cultural differences; Emotion regulation; Psychophysiology; Suppression

PMID:
26681616
DOI:
10.1111/psyp.12579
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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