Miyamoto, Y.（宮本百合）, Ma, X., & Petermann, A. G. (2014). Cultural differences in hedonic emotion regulation after a negative event. [Final Draft] Emotion.
Beliefs about emotions can influence how people regulate their emotions. The present research examined whether Eastern dialectical beliefs about negative emotions lead to cultural differences in how people regulate their emotions after experiencing a negative event. We hypothesized that, because of dialectical beliefs about negative emotions prevalent in Eastern culture, Easterners are less motivated than Westerners to engage in hedonic emotion regulation—up-regulation of positive emotions and down-regulation of negative emotions. By assessing online reactions to a recent negative event, Study 1 found that European Americans are more motivated to engage in hedonic emotion regulation. Furthermore, consistent with the reported motivation to regulate emotion hedonically, European Americans show a steeper decline in negative emotions 1 day later than do Asians. By examining retrospective memory of reactions to a past negative event, Study 2 further showed that cultural differences in hedonic emotion regulation are mediated by cultural differences in dialectical beliefs about motivational and cognitive utility of negative emotions, but not by personal deservingness or self-efficacy beliefs. These findings demonstrate the role of cultural beliefs in shaping emotion regulation and emotional experiences.