IDEAL AFFECT, EMOTIONAL MEMORY, AND WELL-BEING: A CROSS-CULTRAL STUDY
People differ in the type of ideal emotional state they want to feel. While European Americans ideally want to feel high arousal positive affect, East Asian prefers low arousal positive affect. This study investigated what role the recall of emotional memory (i.e. memory of ideal affect) plays in personal well-being between East Asian and European American cultures. Our results showed that both high arousal positive (HAP) and low arousal positive (LAP) consistency between ideal affect and actual affect predicted positive measure of personal well-being. Compared with East Asians, ideal-actual discrepancy scores (general discrepancy scores, HAP discrepancy scores and LAP discrepancy scores) had a greater predictive effect on European Americans’ well-being. Moreover, we found that for East Asians, the amount of low arousal positive events they recall has a slightly positive predictive effect on their level of wellbeing. The result also showed that European Americans may generally retrieve more HAP memories than East Asians.
Loeckenhoff, Corinna E.
M.A., Human Development
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis