Emotions - Worldwide Variations (01-06-20)

Researchers have learned more about language-related variations in emotional experiences; since the forms of physical environments influence moods, this work is relevant to designers. Investigators report in an article published in Sciencethat “Psychology researchers . . . studied [2,500] languages around the world and found that the way humans conceptualize emotions like anger, fear, joy and sadness may differ across speakers of different languages. . . . languages describe emotions differently across the globe. For example, some languages view grief as similar to fear and anxiety, whereas others view grief as similar to regret. . . . all languages distinguish emotions primarily based on whether they are pleasant or unpleasant to experience, and whether they involve low or high levels of arousal. For example, few languages view the low-arousal emotion of sadness as similar to the high-arousal emotion of anger, and few languages viewed the pleasant emotion of ‘happy’ as similar to the unpleasant emotion of ‘regret.’ This suggests that there are universal elements of emotion experience that may stem from biological evolution.”

“The Meaning of Emotions May Differ Across the World, New Research Shows.”  2019.  Press release, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, https://www.unc.edu/posts/2019/12/19/the-meaning-of-emotions-may-differ-...