Culture and group-based emotions: could group-based emotions be dialectical?
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Group-based emotions are experienced when individuals are engaged in emotion-provoking events that implicate the in-group. This research examines the complexity of group-based emotions, specifically a concurrence of positive and negative emotions, focusing on the role of dialecticism, or a set of folk beliefs prevalent in Asian cultures that views nature and objects as constantly changing, inherently contradictory, and fundamentally interconnected. Study 1 found that dialecticism is positively associated with the complexity of Chinese participants’ group-based emotions after reading a scenario depicting a positive intergroup experience. Study 2 found that Chinese participants experienced more complex group-based emotions compared with Dutch participants in an intergroup situation and that this cultural difference was mediated by dialecticism. Study 3 manipulated dialecticism and confirmed its causal effect on complex group-based emotions. These studies also suggested the role of a balanced appraisal of an intergroup situation as a mediating factor.
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