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Comparative Study

| Published: March 23, 2017

Emotion Regulation Choice: Differences in U.S. and Indian Populations

Ashish Mehta ,

Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. Google Scholar More about the auther

Gerald Young ,

Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. Google Scholar More about the auther

Alyssa Wicker ,

Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. Google Scholar More about the auther

Sarah Barber ,

Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. Google Scholar More about the auther

Gaurav Suri

Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.160/20170402

DOI: 10.25215/0402.160

ABSTRACT

In the past two decades, researchers have conclusively demonstrated that various emotion regulation (ER) strategies give rise to differing consequences. Such findings have prompted an examination of the internal and external factors that contribute to emotion regulation choice. Previous empirical studies modeling ER choice have been limited to Western samples. Based on knowledge of the role of culture in other choice behavior, we sought to test whether culture was a driver of ER choice. For the present studies, we compared ER choices of participants from India, to ER choices of participants from the U.S.A. Research demonstrating a correlation between religiosity and effective use of cognitive reappraisal lead us to anticipate the more religious India showing higher rates of cognitive reappraisal. Based on the incorporation of acceptance themes in Indian philosophy, as well as higher rates of fatalistic outlooks in India, we also expected to see Indian participants more frequently using an acceptance ER strategy. We further expected that difference in choice strategies would be moderated by emotional intensity of the stimuli. To test these hypotheses, we presented high and low-intensity emotion-eliciting images to both samples and recorded ER choice selections. We discovered that as hypothesized, the Indian sample was significantly more likely to use cognitive reappraisal than the U.S. sample, specifically for high intensity images. Contrary to our hypothesis, the choice rate for acceptance was indistinguishable in the Indian and U.S. samples. This research indicates that culture bears considerably on which strategies people choose to employ when regulating emotion in response to negative stimuli.
Responding Author Information

Ashish Mehta @ amehta1@mail.sfsu.edu

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429

DIP: 18.01.160/20170402

DOI: 10.25215/0402.160

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Published in   Volume 04, Issue 2, January-March, 2017

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