Within and Between-Group Heterogeneity in Cultural Models of Emotion Among People of European, Asian, and Latino Heritage in the United States

Nicole Senft, Marina M. Doucerain, Belinda Campos, Michelle N. Shiota, Yulia E. Chentsova-Dutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Research on cultural variation in emotion values and beliefs has usually explained this variation in terms of individualism and collectivism, typically comparing European American against East Asian cultural contexts. This study examined emotion model variability across as well as within cultural contexts in a large sample of young adults of Latino heritage along with people of European and East Asian heritage. Using latent class analysis, we characterized and predicted endorsement of emotion models, distinguishing emotion ideals (the emotions one desires) from beliefs about injunctive norms for emotion (the emotions one believes are appropriate). Students from three universities in different regions of the United States (N = 1,618; 490 of European heritage, 463 of Asian heritage, 665 of Latino heritage) provided data on the desirability and appropriateness of experiencing 19 specific emotions in daily life, as well as their U.S. cultural orientation and sociodemographic characteristics. Four distinct classes/models of emotion desirability and four classes/models of emotion appropriateness emerged. Latent class regression demonstrated that endorsement of emotion models was systematically related to heritage group membership and mainstream cultural orientation. Findings suggest meaningful within-group heterogeneity in emotion models and highlight the ways in which emotion models among people of Latino heritage are both similar to and distinct from models among people of European and Asian heritage. By developing a more nuanced understanding of between and within-group variation in emotion models and highlighting the Latin American form of collectivism as in need of further research, this study advances cultural psychology, affective science, and their integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 24 2022


  • Asian heritage
  • Latino heritage
  • culture
  • emotion models
  • latent class analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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