Who are Prone to Depression: Asians or Westerners?

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Cultural differences between Western and Asian cultures in individualism-collectivism (I-C), a dimension of cultural variability, show a strong possibility that Asians are predisposed to more negative emotions than are Westerners.

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Individualistic cultures, most of which are Western, promote individual needs, wishes, desires, and values over group and collective ones (Matsumoto, 1990). Consequently, hierarchical differences in status or power are minimized while equality is emphasized (Matsumoto, 1990).

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In contrast, collective cultures, many of which are Asian, promote the opposite; they stress the needs of a group, individuals identify themselves as members of a group, and one’s social role is defined by an entrenched system of hierarchical differences and vertical relationships (Matsumoto, 1990).

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Members of individualistic cultures tend to display more negative emotions to ingroup members and more positive emotions to outgroup members. Conversely, members of collective cultures tend to display more positive emotions to members of ingroups and more negative emotions to those of outgroups (Matsumoto, 1990).

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These display rules should predispose Asians to more negative emotions, which may result in depression, at least in the social interactions with outgroups.

Emotion regulation norms for Asian and Western cultures also demonstrate a greater likelihood for depression among Asians than among Westerners. Since emotion regulation refers to the ability to manage and modify one’s emotional reactions in order to achieve a desirable outcome, it reflects the different ways that culture tries to achieve social order (Matsumoto, Yoo, & Nakagawa, 2005).

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Cultural display rules, social roles, and emotion regulation norms have effectively contributed to the predisposition of Asians to be more passive, non-assertive, and anxious in interpersonal situations than Westerners (Okazaki, Liu, & Minn, 2002). The results from a study that examined differences between Asian American and White American on a trait measure of social anxiety and self-reports of anxiety-related emotions during a 3-min social performance task indicated that Asian Americans reported more anxiety than White Americans (Okazaki et al., 2002).

GIF Credits: Giphy.com


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Are People with Positive Traits Deviants in Society?: 8 Guinness Record Breakers in 2018

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Why do people break rules and norms of society? How do we view deviant or “abnormal’ behavior of people in society?

There are basically 3 naive and non-sociological definitions on how to understand rule-breaking or deviant behavior of people in society:

1. Absolutist Definition: Deviance resides in the act itself. The evilness of an act is not in the person but in the nature of the act itself. Thus, killing is always murder, or abortion is always sinful. Once a person performs the act, he or she automatically becomes deviant regardless of his/her intention and circumstances surrounding the act.

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2. Statistical Definition: An act, person, place, quality is deviant or abnormal if it does not conform to the average standard. The law on averages is the norm to judge an act/person as deviant or not. Thus, a person is deviant if his/her height is below the average height, like a woman standing 3 feet tall. Or a normal Filipino usually takes a bath once a day on the average, thus a person who takes a bath once or twice a week is deviant under this definition.

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3. Positive Definition: An act, person, or trait is deviant if it is extraordinary or above the average standard in society. A woman who is extremely intelligent or beautiful is deviant under this definition. Those with extraordinary talents like those who established world records in the Guinness Book of Records are deviant due to their positive traits or talents. But do people ordinarily call people with positive traits deviants or abnormal? Or they are praised by people as heroes? This definition is misleading because society consider those with extraordinary capabilities or talents as celebrities and not abnormal people in society. Take, for instance, the following 2018 record breakers. Would you look down on them as deviants and abnormal? Or praise them as super humans?

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Here are some of the 2018 record breakers and holders. They can be considered deviants by positive definition:

1. Longest fingernails on a pair of hands (female)

The longest fingernails on a pair of hands (female) belong to Ayanna Williams (USA), and have a combined total measurement of 576.4 cm (18 ft 10.9 in), as measured in Houston, Texas, USA,

2. Longest eyelash

The longest eyelash measures 12.40 cm (4.88 in) long and has grown on You Jianxia’s (China).

3. Shortest married couple

The shortest married couple are Paulo Gabriel da Silva Barros (Brazil) and Katyucia Lie Hoshino (Brazil), measuring a combined height of 181.41 cm (71.42 in).

4. Oldest bodybuilder – male

The oldest bodybuilder is Jim Arrington (USA, b. 1 September 1932) and was aged 83 years 6 days when competing at a professional bodybuilding competition in Venice, California, USA,

5. Farthest flight by hoverboard

The farthest flight by hoverboard is 2,252.4 m (7,389 ft 9 in) and was achieved by Franky Zapata

6. Fastest 100 m slackline walk

The fastest 100 m slackline walk is 1 min 59.73 secs and was achieved by Lucas Milliard (France)

7. Most apples bobbed in one minute

The most apples bobbed in one minute is 37: Cherry Yoshitake (Japan)

8. Most tattooed senior citizens

Most Tattooed Senior Citizens: Charles “Chuck” Helmke and Charlotte Guttenberg (both USA)

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Photo Credits: Guinness Book of Records 2018



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