Prefer feeling bad? Subcultural differences in emotional preferences between Han Chinese and Mongolian Chinese

Xinmei Deng, Chen Cheng, Hiu Mei Chow, Xuechen Ding
Published Online:
02 Mar 2018
Volume/Issue No:
Early View Articles

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As a multi‐ethnic country that is comprised of diverse cultural systems, there has been little research on the subcultural differences in emotional preferences in China. Also, little attention has been paid to examine how explicit and implicit attitudes towards emotions influence emotional preferences interactively. In this study, we manipulated explicit attitudes towards emotions among Han (N = 62) and Mongolian Chinese individuals (N = 70). We assessed participants' implicit attitudes towards emotions to explore their contributions to emotional preferences. (a) Han Chinese had lower preferences for pleasant emotions than Mongolian Chinese after inducing contra‐hedonic attitudes towards emotions, and (b) after priming contra‐hedonic attitudes towards emotions, the more Han Chinese participants evaluated pleasant emotions as negative implicitly, the less they preferred to engage in pleasant emotional activities. These findings contribute to the growing literature of subcultural differences and demonstrate that explicit and implicit attitudes towards emotions interactively influence individuals' emotional preferences between different subculture groups.

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