Culture, emotion, and well-being: Good feelings in Japan and the United States

  • Kitayama S
  • Markus H
  • Kurokawa M
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Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that ''good feelings''-the central element of subjective well-being-are associated with interdependence and interpersonal engagement of the self in Japan, but with independence and interpersonal disengagement of the self in the United States. Japanese and American college students (total N = 913) reported how frequently they experienced various emotional states in daily life. In support of the hypothesis, the reported frequency of general positive emotions (e.g. calm, elated) was most closely associated with the reported frequency of interpersonally engaged positive emotions (e.g. friendly feelings) in Japan, but with the reported frequency of interpersonally disengaged positive emotions (e.g. pride) in the United States. Further, for Americans the reported frequency of experience was considerably higher for positive emotions than for negative emotions, but for Japanese it was higher for engaged emotions than for disengaged emotions. Implications for cultural constructions of emotion in general and subjective well-being in particular are discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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Authors

  • Shinobu Kitayama

  • Hazel Rose Markus

  • Masaru Kurokawa

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