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Cross-cultural affective neuroscience personality comparisons of Japan, Turkey and Germany


Mothering styles and family models of different cultures- that vary in interdependency and independency combinations—can influence the development of basic affects differently. The present study carried out the cross-cultural comparisons of samples from Japan, Turkey and Germany on self-construals, basic affects and Big Five factors. The countries were selected along a Euro-Asian spectrum, from highly collectivistic Japan to least collectivistic Germany, with Turkey as a bridging culture. The sample consisted of undergraduate and graduate students from Kyoto in Japan (n = 353), Istanbul in Turkey (n = 327) and Bonn in Germany (n = 222). The questionnaire included the self-construal scale (SCS), the affective neuroscience personality scales (ANPS) and the big five scale (B5S). SCS scores showed that the level of interdependent self-construals decreased from East to West, but independent self-construals did not gradually increase. Highest independency score was found in Turkey. Theoretically well-known German individualism was not found to be based on higher independency, but on lower interdependency. On ANPS, female groups seemed very similar on positive affects whereas for negative affects they had differences; like Japanese females had higher FEAR, Turkish females had higher ANGER. Similarly, Japanese males had higher FEAR and SADNESS, Turkish males had higher ANGER. On ANPS, Turkish and Japanese males were more similar and distinct from the German males who had lower scores almost on all affects. However on B5S; Turks and Germans were found to be quite similar and distinct from the Japanese. Turkey seemed to maintain more subcortical affective personality similarities with Japan, while attuning more to B5 factors displayed by Germany. Findings are discussed in light of child-rearing styles in each country.

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We are grateful to Jaak Panksepp for supporting this first Cross-cultural Affective Neuroscience Personality Research on a Euro-Asian spectrum and being an active author of this manuscript. We will continue our projects in light of his immortal theory. We would also like to thank Kazuyuki Hirao, Taichi Hatta, and Hiroki Hosogoshi for their assistance in data collection for the Japanese sample, Ferhat Jak içöz for his assistance in data collection for the Turkish sample and Altan Orhon for his help in statistical analysis.

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Correspondence to F. G. Özkarar-Gradwohl or K. Narita.

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Özkarar-Gradwohl, F.G., Narita, K., Montag, C. et al. Cross-cultural affective neuroscience personality comparisons of Japan, Turkey and Germany. Cult. Brain (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40167-018-0074-2

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  • Affective neuroscience
  • Culture
  • Affective neuroscience personality scales
  • Big five
  • Self-construals
  • Interdependency
  • Independency
  • Cross-cultural affective neuroscience