| Published: March 23, 2017
Emotion Regulation Choice: Differences in U.S. and Indian Populations
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.
This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
© 2017 Mehta A, Young G, Wicker A, Barber S, Suri G
Received: February 22, 2017; Revision Received: March 19, 2017; Accepted: March 23, 2017
Published in Volume 04, Issue 2, January-March, 2017