International Journal of Psychology vol:48 issue:4 pages:682-694
Two studies investigate whether interpersonally engaging emotions—those that bring the self closer to others (e.g., affection, shame)—are central to the model of self and relationships prevalent in Mexican cultural contexts. Study 1 demonstrated that compared to people in European American contexts, people in Mexican contexts were more likely to report experiencing interpersonally engaging emotions and less likely to report experiencing interpersonally disengaging emotions. Study 2 found that interpersonally engaging emotions had a substantial influence on performance motivation in Mexican contexts—Mexican participants solved more word search puzzles after recalling instances in which they experienced positive interpersonally engaging emotions, and fewer after recalling negative interpersonally disengaging emotions; in contrast, there were no differences by condition for European Americans. These findings significantly extend previous research by documenting the implications of relational concerns (e.g., simpatia, personalismo) for emotion and motivation in Mexican contexts, and are the first to demonstrate the motivational effects of interpersonally engaging emotions.