Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Linguistics and Cognitive Science

Reader 1

Lise Abrams

Reader 2

Jennifer Ma

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2023 Amani I Khan


The present study investigated the role of culture and social categorization in emotion perception. Participants in this cross-cultural comparison were recruited from South Asia (Bangladesh) and the United States (White Americans and South Asian Americans). The study was conducted through an online survey, where participants viewed a series of images of South Asian faces varying in emotions (happiness, surprise, sadness, disgust) and rated the intensity of emotions depicted. Overall, significant differences were found in general perceptions of emotional intensities where happiness had the highest rating across emotions, followed by surprise, disgust and then sadness. Significant differences emerge at the level of specific emotions. Happiness and surprise were perceived as significantly more intense by White Americans, than by South Asians. Sadness, on the other hand, was perceived as significantly more intense by South Asians than White Americans. South Asian Americans consistently fell in the middle, but demonstrated only marginally significant differences from the other groups. Taken together, this research provides insight into the role of culture and social categorization in how emotional intensity is perceived. To date, this research is among one of the first to focus on emotion perception in South Asians.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.