Sorrentino, R. M., Nezlek, J., Yasunaga, S. Kouhara, S., Otsubo, Y., & Shuper, P. (2008). Uncertainty orientation and affective experiences: Individual differences within and across cultures. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 39, 129-146.
The present study examined whether people with the same self-regulatory style of coping with uncertainty differed in their affective experiences as a function of what may be the dominant coping style of their culture. Two hundred and twenty men and women from universities in Japan and Canada described the extent to which they experienced various emotions. Consistent with our expectations, we found that participants whose uncertainty orientation matched that of their culture (i.e., uncertainty-oriented students in Canada, certainty-oriented students in Japan), experienced more active emotions than mismatched participants (i.e., certainty-oriented students in Canada, uncertainty-oriented students in Japan), who experienced more passive emotions. Moreover, those who matched their culture's coping style also reported experiencing more positive and fewer negative emotions than mismatched students. These results suggest that the theory of uncertainty orientation has important implications for research on affective experiences within and across cultures.