Send to

Choose Destination
J Pers Soc Psychol. 1994 Feb;66(2):310-28.

Evidence for universality and cultural variation of differential emotion response patterning.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Erratum in

  • J Pers Soc Psychol 1994 Jul;67(1):55.


The major controversy concerning psychobiological universality of differential emotion patterning versus cultural relativity of emotional experience is briefly reviewed. Data from a series of cross-cultural questionnaire studies in 37 countries on 5 continents are reported and used to evaluate the respective claims of the proponents in the debate. Results show highly significant main effects and strong effect sizes for the response differences across 7 major emotions (joy, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame, and guilt). Profiles of cross-culturally stable differences among the emotions with respect to subjective feeling, physiological symptoms, and expressive behavior are also reported. The empirical evidence is interpreted as supporting theories that postulate both a high degree of universality of differential emotion patterning and important cultural differences in emotion elicitation, regulation, symbolic representation, and social sharing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center