Universals and Cultural Variations in 22 Emotional Expressions Across Five Cultures

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Abstract

We collected and Facial Action Coding System (FACS) coded over 2,600 free-response facial and body displays of 22 emotions in China, India, Japan, Korea, and the United States to test 5 hypotheses concerning universals and cultural variants in emotional expression. New techniques enabled us to identify cross-cultural core patterns of expressive behaviors for each of the 22 emotions. We also documented systematic cultural variations of expressive behaviors within each culture that were shaped by the cultural resemblance in values, and identified a gradient of universality for the 22 emotions. Our discussion focused on the science of new expressions and how the evidence from this investigation identifies the extent to which emotional displays vary across cultures.

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