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25-04-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 8/2017

Gestural Representation of Emotions: A Comparative Study on Chilean and American Women

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 8/2017
Auteurs:
Paula Muñoz, Chamarrita Farkas
Belangrijke opmerkingen
An erratum to this article is available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-017-0827-0.

Abstract

Emotions and their expression are adaptive processes, relevant to maintaining personal welfare and to structuring social relations through the verbal and nonverbal communication of feelings and needs to others. Emotional representation refers to the ability to intentionally and deliberately produce facial and bodily movements to convey an emotion. Although this representation possesses universal aspects, its richness lies in its cultural variability. This study seeks to describe and compare the intensity of the facial and bodily representation of six emotions in 120 Chilean and American women from different socioeconomic groups. The study adopts an investigatory, descriptive, cross-sectional and comparative design. A socio-demographic questionnaire and an assessment of emotional gestures in adults were applied. For the assessment, the women’s responses to six short stories related to the emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, pride and shame were filmed and coded by independent coders from both countries. The results indicate that Chilean women are more intense when representing happiness and pride with their faces, whereas American women are more intense when representing happiness and anger with their bodies. In addition, differences emerge based on socioeconomic status. In both countries, a higher socioeconomic status is associated with greater intensity in the representation of emotions. The results and their implications are discussed.

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