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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes