E-ISSN : 2733-4538
Previous studies have reported that emotional expression carries different meanings for different people depending on eth- nicity and the context of measuring emotional expressiveness. This study examined the effects of ethnicity, implicit audience, and ethnic identity on emotional expressiveness. We collected data from 136 female undergraduate students (68 East Asian Americans and 68 European Americans). Self-disclosure, emotional expressivity, and ethnic identity were also assessed. The participants were asked to write an essay about their traumatic experiences. For half of the participants, their ethnic identity was primed before writing the essays. Within each of the two conditions, half of the participants were asked to imagine that their own ethnic group would read their narratives, whereas the other half were asked to imagine that another ethnic group would read theirs. A multivariate analysis of covariance was conducted. Contrary to expectations, Asian Americans expressed more pride and sad words in their narratives, and more sadness in the ingroup condition than European Americans. Across both ethnic groups, participants with higher ethnic identity expressed less affect and positive emotions. Ethnic identity prim- ing did not affect emotional expressiveness. The findings indicate that cultural differences in emotional expressiveness are complex, with ethnic identity, participants’ ethnicity, and ethnicity of the implicit audience assuming significant roles.