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The question of whether emotions are universal or culturally specific has long been a point of controversy in emotion science.

In our research, we examine both cultural similarities and differences, and we use a range of methods to test cross-cultural hypotheses.

We directly address questions of the universality of emotional expressions and concepts [Disa Sauter], and examine similarities and differences in emotional communication styles [Milena Feldkamp].

We test the role of actual and believed group belonging in the evaluations of someone’s emotional expressions [Disa Sauter / Maien Sachisthal / Pumin Kommattam].

AICE’s research also probes questions such as: Do people judge out-groups members’ emotions as less intense than in-group members’ emotions? [Pumin Kommattam]. Do ‘Easterners’ judge emotional expressions as being more of a mix of emotions than do ‘Westerners’? [Xia Fang]

Key papers:

Sauter, D. A. (2013). The role of motivation and cultural dialects in the in-group advantage for emotional vocalizations.  Frontiers in  Emotion Science, 4, 814.

Sauter, D. A., Eisner, F., Ekman, P., & Scott, S. K. (2010). Cross-cultural recognition of basic emotions through nonverbal emotional vocalizations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(6), 2408–2412.