Culture moderates the relationship between emotional fit and collective aspects of well-being

Sinhae Cho, Natalia Van Doren, Mark R. Minnick, Daniel N. Albohn, Reginald B. Adams, José A. Soto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The present study examined how emotional fit with culture - the degree of similarity between an individual' emotional response to the emotional response of others from the same culture - relates to well-being in a sample of Asian American and European American college students. Using a profile correlation method, we calculated three types of emotional fit based on self-reported emotions, facial expressions, and physiological responses. We then examined the relationships between emotional fit and individual well-being (depression, life satisfaction) as well as collective aspects of well-being, namely collective self-esteem (one's evaluation of one's cultural group) and identification with one's group. The results revealed that self-report emotional fit was associated with greater individual well-being across cultures. In contrast, culture moderated the relationship between self-report emotional fit and collective self-esteem, such that emotional fit predicted greater collective self-esteem in Asian Americans, but not in European Americans. Behavioral emotional fit was unrelated to well-being. There was a marginally significant cultural moderation in the relationship between physiological emotional fit in a strong emotional situation and group identification. Specifically, physiological emotional fit predicted greater group identification in Asian Americans, but not in European Americans. However, this finding disappeared after a Bonferroni correction. The current finding extends previous research by showing that, while emotional fit may be closely related to individual aspects of well-being across cultures, the influence of emotional fit on collective aspects of well-being may be unique to cultures that emphasize interdependence and social harmony, and thus being in alignment with other members of the group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1509
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberAUG
StatePublished - Aug 24 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


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