Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Positive EmotionIntegrating the Light Sides and Dark Sides$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

June Gruber and Judith Tedlie Moskowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926725.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 November 2020

The Cultural Shaping of Happiness

The Cultural Shaping of Happiness

The Role of Ideal Affect

(p.345) Chapter 19 The Cultural Shaping of Happiness
Positive Emotion

Jeanne Tsai

Bokyung Park

Oxford University Press

Although research suggests that of all emotions, happiness is the most similar across cultures, we propose that cultural differences in happiness have been largely overlooked because these studies typically selected their samples based on convenience or exposure to American culture (versus specific cultural ideas and practices), compared happiness with other negative states (versus different positive states), and focused on “actual affect,” or how people actually feel (versus ideal affect, or how people ideally want to feel). We then review our work on cultural differences in ideal affect, which addresses these limitations, and demonstrates that American contexts value excitement and other high-arousal positive states more and calm and other low-arousal positive states less than Chinese contexts. We discuss the implications these cultural differences in ideal affect have for the study of happiness and other positive emotions and argue that in order to understand people’s positive emotions, one has to consider their culturally shaped ideal affect.

Keywords:   culture, happiness, ideal, positive, affect, emotion

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .