Eastern and Western Cultures can be classified according to their geographic locations. "Cultures transcend national borders and require researchers to use meaningful dimensions of variability rather than physical boundaries." (Niedenthal, et al. pg 313) For the sake of this entry, Eastern cultures include those of Asia and Eastern Europe, and Western cultures include those of North America and Western Europe. Eastern cultures are said to be very collectivist, meaning they do things for the good of everyone else. "The needs, wishes, and desires of the collectivities in which individuals find themselves are emphasized and the notion of individuality is minimized or even absent from the cultural model." (Niedenthal, et al. pg 314) Whereas Western cultures are seen as more individualistic, or "...ones in which important meanings concerning relationships, identity, power, and ambition converge to promote individual needs, wishes, and desires. In such cultures, and North America is assumed to be the prototype,...equality and the possibility of personal attainment are encouraged." (Niedenthal, et al. pg 314) These simple definitions provided by Neidenthal show the drastic differences between cultures of the East and the West.
Eastern cultures, and their emotional expressions, "have been largely left to speculation, and often labeled "mysterious," and "deviant"."(Miyahara) Miyahara,referencing a study conducted on Japanese interpersonal communication, goes onto explain that the Japanese "are low in self disclosure, both verbally and non-verbally...Most of these attributes are ascribed to the Japanese people's collectivistic orientations."(Miyahara) This study conducted shows how the Japanese people, members of the Eastern culture, have a relatively low expression of emotion. "Emotional moderation in general might be expected to be observed in collectivist cultures more than in individualistic cultures, since strong emotions and emotional expression could disrupt...
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