Emotional Variation Through The Lens Of A Cultural Perspective

1993 Words Dec 8th, 2016 8 Pages
Introduction There are few things that are universally shared between all members of the human species – one of the most prominent being our emotions and feelings. Studies have focused on this broad topic of emotion from an evolutionary perspective – suggesting that certain primal instincts such as fear or disgust are innate. Our bodily response to them functions as a way to increase or decrease our responsiveness to the stimuli. For example, fear is associated with widened eyes and flared nostrils – both attributes that help one take in the environment and stimuli more, in order to cause heightened awareness to whatever is eliciting the fear (Ekman et. al, 1999). However, some emotions that we process can be categorized as learned, secondary ones. These kinds of emotions can be shaped by our experiences, environment, and familial upbringing. Many studies have approached the question of emotional variation through the lens of a cultural perspective. Some studies have focused in on a particular emotion, such as awe. In this case the scientists observed that countries associated more with extraversion (America) experienced a higher frequency and intensity of awe compared to countries associated with less extraversion (Iran) (Razavi et. al, 2016). Other studies utilized brain-imaging techniques to examine the neural differences in responding to emotion between two cultural groups. One such study measured activation of the bilateral amygdala in response to fear stimuli and…

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