Emotion and Culture

Jon Haidt

Psychology 884, Spring, 1996

Wednesdays 2:00-4:30, Gilmer 107c

What are emotions? How do evolution and culture work together to create them? The "heart" of this course will be the reading of two ethnographies about emotional life in non-Western cultures, along with theoretical work from social psychologists and cultural anthropologists.

Course information: I will lecture for 30-50 minutes each class, and the remaining time will be discussion. There will be two papers: a short one about your own emotion diary, and a substantial integrative/creative paper, due April 24. The paper should, ideally, relate to your ongoing research. Most of the readings will be available in photocopied form, in the BioPsych library. Also, you should buy the following books, at the University Bookstore:

1) Lutz, Catherine. (1988). Unnatural emotions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

2) Abu-Lughod, Lila. (1986). Veiled sentiments. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.


Jan. 17: What are emotions? Some history, some physiology.

Jan. 24: The Universalist Position

1)Darwin, Charles (1965/1872). The expression of the emotions in man and animals. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Selections)

2)Ekman, Paul. (1993). An argument for basic emotions. Cognition and Emotion, 6, 169-200.

Jan. 31: Ethnography 1. Read Lutz, to page 154

Feb. 7: 1)Finish lutz. 2)Rosaldo, Michelle. (1984). Toward an anthropology of self and feeling. In R. Shweder & R. LeVine (Eds.), Culture theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 137-157.

Feb. 14: Cognitive-Appraisal theories of emotion

1) Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Progress on a cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotion. American Psychologist, 46, 819-834.

2) Ellsworth, P. C. (1994). Sense, culture, and sensibility. In S. Kitayama and H. Markus, Emotion and Culture. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Feb. 21: Ethnography 2. Read Abu-Lughod, Veiled Sentiments. To p. 117

Feb. 28: Finish Abu-Lughod

Mar. 6: the structure of emotional experiences

1) Frijda, N. N., Mesquita, B., Sonnemans, J., & Van Goozen, S. (1991). The duration of affective phenomena or emotions, sentiments, and passions. International Review of Studies on Emotion, 1, 187-225.

2) Shaver, P., Schwartz, J., Kirson, D., & O'Connor, C. (1987). Emotion knowledge: Further exploration of a prototype approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 1061-1086.

Mar. 20: An Indian theory of emotion (emotion journal project due)

1) Shweder, R. A. (1993). The cultural psychology of the emotions. (Handbook of Emotions.)

2) The Rasadhyaya of the Natyasastra. (selections)

Mar. 27: Case Study 1: Amae

1)Doi, L. T. (1962). Amae: A key concept for understanding Japanese personality structure. In R. Levine (Ed.), Culture and Personality. Chicago: Aldine.

2)Doi, L. T. (1981). The anatomy of dependence. (J. Bester, Trans.) Tokyo: Kodansha International.

April 3: Case Study 2: Disgust

1) Rozin, P., Haidt, J., & McCauley, C. (1993). Disgust. (Handbook of emotions).

2) Haidt, J., Rozin, P., McCauley, C., & Imada, S. (in press). Body, psyche, and culture: The relationship of disgust to morality. In G. Misra (Ed.) The cultural construction of social cognition. Sage Publications.

April 10:Integrating reviews

1)Mesquita, B., & Frijda, N. (1992). Cultural variations in emotions: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 179-204.

2)Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1994). The cultural construction of self and emotion: Implications for social behavior. In S. Kitayama & H. R. Markus (Ed.), Emotion and culture: Empirical studies of mutual influence. (pp. 89-130). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

April 17: Individual presentations. Readings TBA.

April 24: Individual presentations. Course conclusion. No readings.