Does expressing your emotions raise or lower your blood pressure? The answer depends on cultural context

Emily A Butler, Tiane L. Lee, James J. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Emotion-expressive behavior is often but not always inversely related to physiological responding. To test the hypothesis that cultural context moderates the relationship between expressivity and physiological responding, the authors have Asian American and European American women engage in face-to-face conversations about a distressing film in same-ethnicity dyads. Blood pressure is measured continuously, and emotional expressivity is rated from reviewing videotapes. Results indicate that emotion-expressive behavior is inversely related to blood pressure in European American dyads, but the reverse was true in Asian American dyads in which there is a trend toward a positive association. These results suggest that the links between emotion-expressive behavior and physiological responding may depend on cultural context. One possible explanation for this effect may be that cultural contexts shape the meaning that individuals give to emotional expressions that occur during social interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-517
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009

Fingerprint

dyad
Emotions
emotion
Asian Americans
Blood Pressure
Videotape Recording
Interpersonal Relations
conversation
ethnicity
trend
interaction

Keywords

  • Asian
  • Blood pressure
  • Culture
  • Emotion expression
  • European

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

Cite this

Does expressing your emotions raise or lower your blood pressure? The answer depends on cultural context. / Butler, Emily A; Lee, Tiane L.; Gross, James J.

In: Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 40, No. 3, 05.2009, p. 510-517.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{cae328f0754d4f74a325947b30387c25,
title = "Does expressing your emotions raise or lower your blood pressure?: The answer depends on cultural context",
abstract = "Emotion-expressive behavior is often but not always inversely related to physiological responding. To test the hypothesis that cultural context moderates the relationship between expressivity and physiological responding, the authors have Asian American and European American women engage in face-to-face conversations about a distressing film in same-ethnicity dyads. Blood pressure is measured continuously, and emotional expressivity is rated from reviewing videotapes. Results indicate that emotion-expressive behavior is inversely related to blood pressure in European American dyads, but the reverse was true in Asian American dyads in which there is a trend toward a positive association. These results suggest that the links between emotion-expressive behavior and physiological responding may depend on cultural context. One possible explanation for this effect may be that cultural contexts shape the meaning that individuals give to emotional expressions that occur during social interactions.",
keywords = "Asian, Blood pressure, Culture, Emotion expression, European",
author = "Butler, {Emily A} and Lee, {Tiane L.} and Gross, {James J.}",
year = "2009",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1177/0022022109332845",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "40",
pages = "510--517",
journal = "Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology",
issn = "0022-0221",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Does expressing your emotions raise or lower your blood pressure?

T2 - The answer depends on cultural context

AU - Butler, Emily A

AU - Lee, Tiane L.

AU - Gross, James J.

PY - 2009/5

Y1 - 2009/5

N2 - Emotion-expressive behavior is often but not always inversely related to physiological responding. To test the hypothesis that cultural context moderates the relationship between expressivity and physiological responding, the authors have Asian American and European American women engage in face-to-face conversations about a distressing film in same-ethnicity dyads. Blood pressure is measured continuously, and emotional expressivity is rated from reviewing videotapes. Results indicate that emotion-expressive behavior is inversely related to blood pressure in European American dyads, but the reverse was true in Asian American dyads in which there is a trend toward a positive association. These results suggest that the links between emotion-expressive behavior and physiological responding may depend on cultural context. One possible explanation for this effect may be that cultural contexts shape the meaning that individuals give to emotional expressions that occur during social interactions.

AB - Emotion-expressive behavior is often but not always inversely related to physiological responding. To test the hypothesis that cultural context moderates the relationship between expressivity and physiological responding, the authors have Asian American and European American women engage in face-to-face conversations about a distressing film in same-ethnicity dyads. Blood pressure is measured continuously, and emotional expressivity is rated from reviewing videotapes. Results indicate that emotion-expressive behavior is inversely related to blood pressure in European American dyads, but the reverse was true in Asian American dyads in which there is a trend toward a positive association. These results suggest that the links between emotion-expressive behavior and physiological responding may depend on cultural context. One possible explanation for this effect may be that cultural contexts shape the meaning that individuals give to emotional expressions that occur during social interactions.

KW - Asian

KW - Blood pressure

KW - Culture

KW - Emotion expression

KW - European

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=64749095077&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=64749095077&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0022022109332845

DO - 10.1177/0022022109332845

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:64749095077

VL - 40

SP - 510

EP - 517

JO - Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology

JF - Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology

SN - 0022-0221

IS - 3

ER -