Clobert and colleagues investigated how culture influences the relationship between moods and health—and research consistently shows design-mood links. The Clobert-lead team reports that “North American (vs. East Asian) cultures tend to value high arousal positive (HAP) states, for example, excited, more than low arousal positive (LAP) states, for example, calm. . . . . Positive affective experience is manifest in internal feelings but also in affective practices, such as taking a bath (a highly valued affective experience in Japan) or a fitness workout (a highly valued affective experience in the United States). . . . we examined how health outcomes are shaped by positive affective feelings and practices varying in arousal. . . . HAP feelings predicted better physical and biological health in the United States but not in Japan. . . . engaging in HAP practices predicted better physical and biological health in the United States whereas engaging in LAP practices predicted better physical health in Japan but not in the United States.” The researchers collected data via surveys in the United States and in Japan.
Magali Clobert, Tamara Sims, Jiah Yoo, Yuri Miyamoto, Hazel Markus, Mayumi Karasawa, and Cynthia Levine. “Feeling Excited or Taking a Bath: Do Distinct Pathways Underlie the Positive Affect-Health Link in the U.S. and Japan?” Emotion, in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000531