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Culture & Emotion

It is generally assumed that people want to increase positive emotions and avoid negative emotions. However, research conducted in our lab shows that whereas such a pro-positive/contra-negative system of emotion is prevalent in American cultural contexts, a more balanced system of emotion is prevalent in East Asian cultural contexts. We are examining how the valuation, regulation, and experiences of emotions mutually shape each other and function to sustain such culturally divergent systems of emotion (c.f., Miyamoto, Ma, & Wilken, 2017). We also examine mixed emotions as part of the balanced emotional system. In particular, we are currently examining the feeling of "transience" and its role in aesthetic perception


Culture & Health

Cross-cultural studies have accumulated evidence on cultural variations in a wide range of psychological processes. But what are health implications of such cultural variations? For example, what does it mean for one’s health to have a contra-negative orientation to emotions in the U.S. (vs. Japan)? Our lab is forging connections between cultural psychology and heath to elucidate health implications of cultural variations in psychological processes (c.f., Miyamoto & Ryff, 2022; Miyamoto & Coe, in press).


Culture & Social Hierarchy

A large body of research, conducted predominantly in Western cultures, has shown that social hierarchy influences psychological processes. People who are ranked higher in their society (e.g., those who have more power, those who belong to higher socioeconomic status) tend to show more self-oriented thinking and an analytic cognitive style than people who are ranked lower in the society. However, social hierarchy exists within certain cultural contexts, which can shape its meaning and manifestation (Miyamoto et al., 2018). In this line of research, we have elucidated the effects of social hierarchy on psychological processes and how cultural contexts may moderate the effects.

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