Within-person changes in the structure of emotion: The role of cultural identification and language

Wei Qi Elaine Perunovic, Daniel Heller, Eshkol Rafaeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


This study explored the within-person dynamic organization of emotion in East-Asian Canadian bicultural individuals as they function in two cultural worlds. Using a diary design, we examined under what conditions their emotional structure resembles that of Westerners or that of East Asians. As predicted, when these bicultural individuals identified with a Western culture or had recently spoken a non-Asian language, their positive and negative affect were inversely associated. When they identified with an Asian culture or interacted in an Asian language, this inverse association disappeared. This study shows that as bicultural individuals identify and communicate with members of one or the other cultural group, they may adopt a culturally congruent phenomenology, including a distinct affective pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-613
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to the second author. We thank Michael Ross and David Watson for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript, Erik Woody for his statistical advice, and Penny Deeth, Jennifer Komar, and Shawn Komar for their assistance with conducting the study.


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