Cultural variation in social judgments of smiles: The role of ideal affect
Presenter: Jeanne Tsai, Professor, Stanford University
5101 Tolman Hall
In this talk, I will describe a series of studies demonstrating that cultural differences in how people ideally want to feel (their “ideal affect”) shape how they judge and treat others. Consistent with previous findings that European Americans value excitement states more than East Asians do, European Americans judge open toothy "excited" smiles (vs. closed "calm" smiles) as more affiliative (friendly, extraverted) than do East Asians. I will describe possible neural mechanisms underlying these differences, as well as the implications these differences have for a range of behaviors, including with whom people share resources and whom people hire for a job.