How unique is Chinese emotion?

Michelle Yik

in Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199541850
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 How unique is Chinese emotion?

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This article reviews theoretical and empirical advances achieved in the study of Chinese emotion during the last decade, with an overriding purpose of addressing the question: What is universal and what is unique about Chinese emotion? Several research themes have been pursued in the past decade in studying Chinese emotion. This article focuses on four of those themes. First, it seeks to explore questions on how emotion is described and structured among the Chinese. Related to that interest, it discusses how the study of emotion can benefit from the use of a circumplex model; second, it reviews research on self-conscious emotions, including shame, guilt, and pride in Chinese subjects; third, it summarizes research on emotional responding, including facial expressions; and last, it examine the socialization of emotions. Furthermore, this article summarizes the evidence so far offered in the debate between the universality thesis and the culture-specific thesis of emotion.

Keywords: Chinese emotion; circumplex model; self-conscious emotion; facial expression; cultural variations

Article.  10653 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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