Socioemotional selectivity theory postulates that as people age, their goals become more emotionally salient. Compared with younger adults, older adults prioritize positive information, which gives rise to the positivity effect. However, cross cultural research on self-construal suggests that the East Asian culture encourages people to maintain relational harmony. Thus, negative information may be as important as the positive one for older East Asians. Recent studies have started to support this view and challenge the universality of positivity effect. In this chapter, we suggest that culture norm hypothesis, affect valuation theory and naive dialecticism may help explain such divergence. Definition and meaning of the positivity effect may be subjected to cultural interpretations. Finally, implications of the observed cross-cultural differences in the positivity effect and its relation to emotional well-being are discussed.
|Title of host publication||Successful aging : Asian perspectives|
|Editors||Sheung-Tak CHEUNG, Iris CHI, Helene H. FUNG, Lydia W. LI, Jean WOO|
|Place of Publication||Dordrecht|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
Bibliographical noteThis chapter is partially supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund CUHK442813, as well as a Chinese University of Hong Kong Direct Grant, to Helene Fung.
- Older East-Asians
- Positivity effect