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Emotional Expressivity between the United States and Brazil

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Truell, Peter; Tranquilli, Larissa; Boegh, Branden; Luna, Andre
Stetter, Kathleen
Volume VII, December 2012, pp. 145 - 154
Dec 2012
Brazil; Emotions; Emotional expressivity scale; Gender
Emotional expression differs according to culture and gender. Understanding such differences is important for cross-cultural communication. Brazilians are stereotyped as more emotionally expressive than other cultures. Kring, Smith, and Neale developed an emotional expressivity scale (EES) that has not been used in Brazil. The EES does not differentiate between positive and negative emotions or the emotional expression source, so questions related to six emotions and parental emotional expressivity were added to the survey. Analysis of variance for EES ratings indicated no significant country differences, but did indicate significant gender differences with both U.S. and Brazil women reporting higher ratings than men. For specific emotions, Brazilians reported significantly more comfort for expressing nervousness and anger. Except for anger, women reported higher emotional expression than men. Only U.S. women's EES ratings were significantly correlated with perceived parental expressivity level. EES ratings significantly correlated with all emotions except for anger in both Brazil and the United States. The findings further validate the EES by demonstrating correlation between EES ratings and specific emotions. Additionally, results partially refute stereotypes about Brazilian emotional expression.
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