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Louis Daily, Ph.D.
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- 5 years 3 months
Journal submission to Journal of Consumer Behaviour Article on Discrete Emotions Theory and Consumer Research (Daily, Sussan & Freeman) Submitted 6-1015 Working on Revisions
Submitted Fellow Research proposal to IRB in September 2015
The debate in Psychology concerning the “universality” of emotions is of relevance to Consumer Behavior. Consumer Behavior scholars like Marieke de Mooij (2011) have long sided with the cultural-specific school of thought. The universal theory (e.g. Ekman, P. & Friesen, W.V. ,1978), however, has long been the dominant school of thought in Psychology, although there are dissidents within Psychology (e.g. Russell, 1980). The universalists do exert quite an influence on research in many disciplines. Matsumoto et al (2011), for example, have used Paul Ekman’s theory of universal discrete emotions as a basis for consumer research. The debate in psychology has recently been thrown wide open again with new research. Gendren et al (2014) found that when you ask subjects from a remote tribe in Namibia to free-sort photos of Africans posing Ekman’s discrete emotions, rather than give them the categories in advance, the subjects didn’t come close to categorizing them according to discrete emotions theory. Jack et al (20xx) found that when Chinese subjects recently arrived in Glasgow are asked to classify random facial expressions generated from a computerized simulation program in categories corresponding to Ekman’s six discrete emotions, the resulting categories are very overlapping. They also found that the Chinese subjects expressed the intensity of emotion through eye movements, something not found in western control subjects. This paper reviews the history of the universality debate in psychology, and these two new studies, and draws conclusions for a program of research in cross-cultural communication.