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Title: Where Do My Emotions Belong? A Study on Immigrants' Emotional Acculturation
Authors: De Leersnyder, Jozefien ×
Mesquita, Batja
Heejung, Kim #
Issue Date: Apr-2011
Conference: Cross-Cultural Psychology Symposium location:Tilburg date:8 April 2011
Abstract: A cultural psychology perspective on acculturation implies that psychological processes are seen as mutually constitutive with cultural meanings and practices and, therefore, that people’s psychological processes themselves may be a function of acculturation. In the studies reported here we focus on emotions. Cultures can be characterized by distinct patterns of emotions (i.e., the frequencies and intensities), which tend to reflect the culture’s core meanings and practices. People who engage in the same cultural context tend to share the culture’s emotional pattern. Therefore, the fit or similarity between an immigrant’s emotional pattern and the one typical of the host culture may reflect that immigrant’s internalization of the new culture. In these studies, we asked the question whether immigrants’ emotions become more similar to host culture patterns of emotional experience; do emotions acculturate?
Two studies, on Korean immigrants in the United States (Study 1) and on Turkish immigrants in Belgium (Study 2), measured emotional experiences of immigrants and host group members with the Emotional Patterns Questionnaire. To obtain a measure of the immigrants’ emotional similarity to the host group, their individual emotional patterns were correlated to the average pattern of the host group. Immigrants’ emotional acculturation was predicted by a) their time spent in the host culture and b) their amount of social contact with members of the host group. Interestingly, immigrants’ emotional acculturation was not related to commonly measured acculturation attitudes. Implications of these differences between implicit (emotional) and explicit (attitudinal) measures of acculturation will be discussed.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Non-KU Leuven Association publications
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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