My emotions belong here and there: Extending the phenomenon of emotional acculturation to heritage culture fit

When immigrant minorities engage in a new cultural context, their patterns of emotional experience come to change – a process we coined emotional acculturation. To date, research on emotional acculturation focused on the antecedents and consequences of changes in minorities’ fit with the new culture. Yet, most minorities also continue to engage in their heritage culture. Therefore, the current research investigated which personal and situational factors afford minorities to maintain emotional fit with their heritage culture. Two studies compared the emotional patterns of Korean Americans (n = 49) with those of Koreans in Korea (n = 80), and the emotional patterns of Turkish Belgians (n = 144) with those of Turks in Turkey (n = 250), respectively. As expected, we found that although minorities did not fit the heritage emotional patterns as well as participants in their home countries, spending time with heritage culture friends and interacting in heritage culture settings explained within-group differences in minorities’ heritage culture fit. Therefore, the current research shows that minorities’ emotional patterns are not only cultivated, but also activated by their interactions in different socio-cultural contexts. Moreover, it provides further evidence for cultural frame-switching in the domain of emotion.

De Leersnyder, J., Kim, H. S., & Mesquita, B. (2020). My emotions belong here and there: extending the phenomenon of emotional acculturation to heritage culture fit. Cognition and Emotion, 1-18.