College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Winter 3-19-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Linda Camras, PhD

Second Advisor

Bernadette Sanchez, PhD

Third Advisor

Midge Wilson, PhD


Culture not only influences the conditions under which we will experience an emotion, but also may have bearing on its manner of outward expression. This study investigated cultural differences in the construction of emotion-eliciting events and the associated display rules for exhibiting those emotional responses to others within the context of the cultural classification system known as Individualism/Collectivism (I/C) (Triandis, 1994, 1995; Triandis et al., 1988). In this comparative study, individualists were represented by a sample of participants from the United States whereas collectivists were represented by a Pakistani participant sample.

I/C tendencies of the Pakistani and American respondents were assessed via a 38 item I/C self-reported measure which assessed their values and behaviors towards four social interactant groups; family, close friends, colleagues and strangers. Respondents were also asked report on situations in which they felt one of five emotions and as a follow-up, in order to understand their emotional display behaviors, respondents were asked to report on their tendency to express the elicited emotion, in the situation they described, as well as their manner of expression.

Study results indicate that Pakistanis were indeed more collectivistic in their values and behaviors towards family members confirming the notion that indeed Pakistani culture is typical of this collectivistic ideology. However, this did not extend to their close friends and findings were more nuanced for when considering colleagues and strangers. Further results indicated that American respondents were more likely to write stories representing collectivistic values than were Pakistani respondents. This was contrary to the hypothesis that Pakistani and American respondents would construct stories that were in line with the cultural typology of their country of residence. Also, with respect to emotional display behaviors, analyses conducted indicated that American respondents were the more expressive group. It was also found that happiness, sadness, and pride are more likely to be expressed than anger and shame. While this study was small in scope, its findings suggest the important possibility that Pakistani students are more like U.S. students than might be expected.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons