Emotion norms shape the pursuit, regulation, and experience of emotions, yet much about their nature remains unknown. Like other types of social norms, emotion norms reflect intersubjective consensus, vary in both content and strength, and benefit the well-being of people who adhere to them. However, we propose that emotion norms may also be a unique type of social norm. First, whereas social norms typically target behaviors, emotion norms can target both expressive behavior and subjective states. Second, whereas it may be possible to identify universally held social norms, norms for emotions may lack any universality. Finally, whereas social norms are typically stronger in more collectivist cultures, emotion norms appear to be stronger in more individualist cultures. For each of the potentially distinct features of emotion norms suggested above, we highlight new directions for future research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience