Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 241-268

First online:

Norms for Experiencing Emotions

  • Chu Kim-prietoAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • , Michael EidAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Norms for experiencing emotions were analyzed for 1,056 participants from five African nations (Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe) in a cross-cultural study. Results showed much within-nation as well as between-nation variability in norms. Multigroup latent class analysis showed that the more collectivistic African nations found guilt more desirable and pride less desirable than the less collectivistic African nations. Many of the classes found in the African nations resembled classes found in other cultures, providing evidence for the universality of some norms; culture-specific norms for emotions were also found. Contrary to expectations regarding norms for emotions in collectivistic cultures, Africa-specific norms for emotions included a large class of people who found all negative emotions undesirable.

culture emotion Africa latent-class