Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Stacey Doan

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© 2017 Joey Yamada


This paper explores the cross-cultural differences in affect valuation, emotion regulation, and the relationship between affect valuation, emotion regulation and subjective well-being across White Americans, Asians, and Third Culture Kids (TCKs). Emotional experiences shape every facet of our lives, yet understanding the extent to which emotional experiences are universal is still poorly understood. This is particularly the case among individuals with diverse cultural experiences. In the current study, we look at TCK individuals, a group composed of White-identifying individuals who spent a significant time of their childhood in East Asian countries. Through a questionnaire that was distributed via email and word of mouth, participants (N = 239) were asked to complete five surveys that included a subjective well-being scale, the affect valuation index, an emotion regulation questionnaire, an interpersonal emotion regulation questionnaire, and a set of scenarios that tested the individual’s tendency to feel a duty to themselves or to others. This study found that the Asian group significantly valued low arousal emotions more so than European Americans or the TCK individuals. TCKs were most likely to feel a strong sense of duty to help others.