Exploring Conceptualizations of Compassion in China and the U.S.
For the past three years, I have had the opportunity to be a research assistant in Dr. Birgit Koopmann-Holm's Culture Impacts Emotion Lab at Santa Clara University. My current research study explores what people in different cultures think a compassionate facial expression looks like.
The body of literature on culture and emotion suggests that people from different cultures perceive, experience, and regulate positive and negative emotions differently, especially compassion. While differences in expression of compassion have been studied through cultural products, only one other study has used a reverse correlation task to identify facial conceptualizations of compassion. Our research seeks to elucidate how people from different cultures conceptualize an appropriate facial expression in response to another’s suffering, which we attribute to the extent to which they want to avoid negative emotions. In particular, our samples address well-documented cultural differences between countries such as China and the U.S. as the basis for investigating the likelihood of differences between facial expressions of compassion.
Below is a poster I presented at the Harvard Women in Psychology Trends in Psychology Summit:
Below is my final presentation for PSYC 53L, a Psychology Research Methods course:
© 2021 Jia Seow