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Are Dutch and Japanese people able to understand each other’s nonverbal expressions of emotions? AICE researcher Disa Sauter and Michiko Yoshie conducted a cross-cultural experiment.

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In a new study, Sauter (University of Amsterdam) and Yoshie (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan) tested the hypothesis that vocal expressions of socially disruptive emotions like anger and triumph would not communicate easily between East Asian and Western cultures, because these cultures are too fundamentally different in their cultural norms. 

Results showed that Western listeners find it challenging to interpret Japanese vocalizations of socially disruptive emotions, especially anger. Japanese listeners however could recognize Western vocalizations of anger and triumph as accurately as those of other emotions. There is thus an asymmetry in the recognition of nonverbal vocalizations of socially disruptive emotions between East Asian and Western cultures.

Link to paper