Emotionally expressive interdependence in Latin America: Triangulating through a comparison of three cultural zones.

Cristina E. Salvador, Idrovo Carlier, S. Idrovo , , K Ishii, Castillo, C. Torres , K Nanakdewa, A San Martin, Krishna Savani, Shinobu Kitayama

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence suggests that Latin Americans display elevated levels of emotional expressivity and positivity. Here, we tested whether Latin Americans possess a unique form of interdependence called expressive interdependence, characterized by the open expression of positive emotions related to social engagement (e.g., feelings of closeness to others). In Study 1, we compared Latin Americans from Chile and Mexico with European Americans in the United States, a group known to be highly independent. Latin Americans expressed positive socially engaging emotions, particularly in response to negative events affecting others, whereas European Americans favored positive socially disengaging emotions, such as pride, especially in response to personally favorable circumstances. Study 2 replicated these findings with another group of Latin Americans from Colombia and European Americans in the United States. Study 2 also included Japanese in Japan, who expressed positive emotions less than Latin and European Americans. However, Japanese displayed a higher tendency to express negative socially engaging emotions, such as guilt and shame, compared to both groups. Our data demonstrate that emotional expression patterns align with overarching ethos of interdependence in Latin America and Japan and independence among European Americans. However, Latin Americans and Japanese exhibited different styles of interdependence. Latin Americans were expressive of positive socially engaging emotions, whereas Japanese were less expressive overall. Moreover, when Japanese expressed emotions, they emphasized negative socially engaging emotions. Implications for theories of culture and emotion are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-835
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2023


  • Latin America
  • culture
  • emotional expression
  • independence and interdependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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