Korean Clinical Psychology Association

Current Issue

Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology - Vol. 40 , No. 4

[ Original Article ]
Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology - Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 343-351
Abbreviation: KJCP
ISSN: 1229-0335 (Print) 2733-4538 (Online)
Print publication date 30 Nov 2021
Received 19 Aug 2021 Revised 12 Oct 2021 Accepted 15 Oct 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15842/kjcp.2021.40.4.002

Emotional Expressiveness in Trauma Narratives across Asian and European Americans: Effects of Implicit Audience and Ethnic Identity
Yookyung Eoh1 ; Leslie R. Brody2 ; Soo Hyun Park3,
1Department of Counseling Psychology, Seoul Graduate School of Counseling Psychology, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Psychology, Boston University, Massachusetts, United States
3Department of Psychology, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to : Soo Hyun Park, Department of Psychology, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea; E-mail: parksoohyun@yonsei.ac.kr


© 2021 Korean Clinical Psychology Association

Abstract

Previous studies have reported that emotional expression carries different meanings for different people depending on ethnicity and the context of measuring emotional expressiveness. This study examined the effects of ethnicity, implicit audience, and ethnic identity on emotional expressiveness. We collected data from 136 female undergraduate students (68 East Asian Americans and 68 European Americans). Self-disclosure, emotional expressivity, and ethnic identity were also assessed. The participants were asked to write an essay about their traumatic experiences. For half of the participants, their ethnic identity was primed before writing the essays. Within each of the two conditions, half of the participants were asked to imagine that their own ethnic group would read their narratives, whereas the other half were asked to imagine that another ethnic group would read theirs. A multivariate analysis of covariance was conducted. Contrary to expectations, Asian Americans expressed more pride and sad words in their narratives, and more sadness in the ingroup condition than European Americans. Across both ethnic groups, participants with higher ethnic identity expressed less affect and positive emotions. Ethnic identity priming did not affect emotional expressiveness. The findings indicate that cultural differences in emotional expressiveness are complex, with ethnic identity, participants’ ethnicity, and ethnicity of the implicit audience assuming significant roles.


Keywords: audience, culture, emotional expression, ethnic identity, priming

Acknowledgments

The authors declare that there exists no conflict of interest. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Author contributions statement

YE, assistant professor at Seoul Graduate School of Counseling Psychology, led the drafting of the manuscript and consulted on the research design. LRB, professor at Boston University, consulted on research design. SHP, associate professor at Yonsei University, collected and analyzed data, led manuscript preparation, served as the principal investigator, and supervised the research process. All authors provided critical feedback, participated in revision of the manuscript, and approved the final submission.


References
1. Aaker, J., & Williams, P. (1998). Empathy versus pride: The influence of emotional appeals across cultures. Journal of Consumer Research, 25, 241-261.
2. Brody, L. R., & Hall, J. A. (2008). Gender and emotion in context. In M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-Jones, & L. F. Barrett (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (pp. 395-408). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
3. Crowe, M., Raval, V. V., Trivedi, S. S., Daga, S. S., & Raval, P. H. (2012). Processes of emotion communication and control. Social Psychology, 43, 205-214.
4. Davis, E., Greenberger, E., Charles, S., Chen, C., Zhao, L., & Dong, Q. (2012). Emotion experience and regulation in China and the United States: How do culture and gender shape emotion responding? International Journal of Psychology, 47, 230-239.
5. De Leersnyder, J., Mesquita, B., Kim, H., Eom, K., & Choi, H. (2014). Emotional fit with culture: A predictor of individual differences in relational well-being. Emotion, 14, 241-245.
6. Ford, B. Q., Lam, P., John, O. P., & Mauss, I. B. (2018). The psychological health benefits of accepting negative emotions and thoughts: Laboratory, diary, and longitudinal evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115, 1075-1092.
7. Grigoryan, L. (2020). Perceived similarity in multiple categorisation. Applied Psychology, 69, 1122-1144.
8. Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (1995). Facets of emotional expressivity: Three self-report factors and their correlates. Personality and Individual Differences, 19, 555-568.
9. Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (1998). Mapping the domain of emotional expressivity: Multimethod evidence for a hierarchical model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 170-191.
10. Horng, B. H., & Coles, M. E. (2014). Do higher self-reports of social anxiety translate to greater occurrence of social anxiety disorder in Asian Americans compared to Caucasian Americans? Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 28, 287-302.
11. Kitayama, S., Mesquita, B., & Karasawa, M. (2006). Cultural affordances and emotional experience: Socially engaging and disengaging emotions in Japan and the United States. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 890-903.
12. Mariscal, D. C., & Morales, A. M. (2015). Cultural angle and degrees of transculturation in multicultural societies. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6, 590-590.
13. Matsumoto, D., Yoo, S. H., & Fontaine, J. (2008). Mapping expressive differences around the world: The relationship between emotional display rules and individualism versus collectivism. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 39, 55-74.
14. Mesquita, B., De Leersnyder, J., & Albert, D. (2014). The cultural regulation of emotions. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 284-301). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
15. Miller, L. C., Berg, J. H., & Archer, R. L. (1983). Openers: Individuals who elicit intimate self-disclosure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 1234-1244.
16. Nakash, O., & Brody, L. (2006). The effects of social roles and personality motives on autobiographical memory. Sex Roles, 54, 39-56.
17. Oishi, S., & Diener, E. (2001). Goals, culture, and subjective well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1674-1682.
18. Okazaki, S. (2000). Asian American and White American differences on affective distress symptoms: Do symptom reports differ across reporting methods? Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 31, 603-625.
19. Okazaki, S., Liu, J. F., Longworth, S. L., & Minn, J. Y. (2002). Asian American-White American differences in expressions of social anxiety: A replication and extension. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 8, 234-247.
20. Pennebaker, J. W., & Francis, M. E. (1999). Linguistic inquiry and word count, the second version (SLIWC). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
21. Pennebaker, J. W., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., & Glaser, R. (1988). Disclosure of traumas and immune function: Health implications for psychotherapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 239-245.
22. Pennebaker, J. W., & King, L. A. (1999). Linguistic styles: Language use as an individual difference. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1296-1312.
23. Phinney, J. S. (1992). The multigroup ethnic identity measure: A new scale for use with diverse groups. Journal of Adolescent Research, 7, 156-176.
24. Pickett, C. L., & Brewer, M. B. (2001). Assimilation and differentiation needs as motivational determinants of perceived in-group and out-group homogeneity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 37, 341-348.
25. Saykeo, S. P., & Lawrence, E. (2018). Factors that affect help-seeking: Examining racial differences between Whites, Asians, and African Americans. Modern Psychological Studies, 24, 8-31.
26. Shih, M., Ambady, N., Richeson, J. A., Fujita, K., & Gray, H. M. (2002). Stereotype performance boosts: The impact of self-relevance and the manner of stereotype activation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 638-647.
27. Sims, T., Koopmann-Holm, B., Young, H. R., Jiang, D., Fung, H., & Tsai, J. L. (2018). Asian Americans respond less favorably to excitement (vs. calm)-focused physicians compared to European Americans. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 24, 1-14.
28. Smith, E. R., & Henry, S. (1996). An in-group becomes part of the self: Response time evidence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 635-642.
29. Soto, J. A., Perez, C. R., Kim, Y. H., Lee, E. A., & Minnick, M. R. (2011). Is expressive suppression always associated with poorer psychological functioning? A cross-cultural comparison between European Americans and Hong Kong Chinese. Emotion, 11, 1450-1455.
30. Spears, R., Doosje, B., & Ellemers, N. (1997). Self-stereotyping in the face of threats to group status and distinctiveness: The role of group identification. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 538-553.
31. Stets, J. E., & Burke, P. J. (2000). Identity theory and social identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 63, 224-237.
32. Tropp, L. R., & Wright, S. C. (2001). Ingroup identification as the inclusion of ingroup in the self. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 585-600.
33. Uba, L. (1994). Asian Americans: Personality patterns, identity, and mental health. New York: Guilford Press.
34. Wang, S. W., & Lau, A. S. (2018). Ethnicity moderates the benefits of perceived support and emotional expressivity on stress reactivity for Asian Americans and Euro Americans. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 24, 363-373.
35. Wei, M., Liu, S., Ko, S. Y., Wang, C., & Du, Y. (2020). Impostor feelings and psychological distress among Asian Americans: Interpersonal shame and self-compassion. The Counseling Psychologist, 48, 432-458.