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Batja Mesquita: The Cultural Shaping of Emotion

24.05.2013 | 12:00 c.t.

Öffentlicher Vortrag in der Reihe "Talking Emotion"

Emotions differ across cultures in ways that can be understood from differences in relationship ideals and practices (Mesquita, 2003). For example, in cultures that value self-assertion within relationships, anger experiences are more frequent and more intense than in cultures that value social harmony (Kitayama, Mesquita, & Karasawa, 2006). In this talk, I will review two mechanisms involved in aligning emotions to relationship ideals.  First, cultures shape emotional experience by promoting interpersonal situations that elicit condoned emotions, and by inhibiting interpersonal situations that elicit condemned emotions (Boiger, Mesquita, Uchida, & Barrett, 2013). Second, salient cultural values provide meaning to interpersonal interactions, and thereby color emotional experience (De Leersnyder & Mesquita, 2013).  While these findings may suggest that culture’s influence on emotions is mediated by beliefs, I will propose that people’s engagement in culturally particular social interactions and relationships may also directly shape their emotions. Future research should study how culture is produced and reproduced in emotional interactions.

Batja Mesquita

Batja Mesquita is professor of psychology at the Center for Social and Cultural Psychology at KU Leuven, Belgium. Her research interests are Sociocultural influences on emotions, Intergroup emotions, Multiculturalism, Acculturation of emotions and Emotion regulation. Among her most recent publications are The mind in context (2010) New York, NY: Guilford Press (with Barrett, L. F., Smith, E.), Changing emotions (in press) London, UK: Psychology Press (with Hermans, D., Rime, B.), and “The construction of emotion in interactions, relationships, and cultures” (2012) Emotion Review, 4, 221-229 (with M. Boiger).

Zeit & Ort

24.05.2013 | 12:00 c.t.

Seminarraum KL 32/202, Habelschwerdter Alle 45