Friday, March 19, 2010

Blacks less likely to appraise events as caused by oneself

This study finds that Africans are less likely to appraise events as caused by oneself--a pattern shown by black Americans as well.

Do respondents in different cultures appraise emotion-antecedent events [events that led to a particular emotional reaction] differently? Are similar appraisal profiles associated with the same emotions across cultures? These questions were studied for 7 emotions in 37 countries. Results show rather high convergence across geopolitical regions with respect to emotion specific profiles, suggesting universality of the appraisal mechanism. Empirical profiles corresponded in large measure to theoretical predictions. There were sizable differences between geopolitical regions with respect to general appraisal tendencies. Respondents in Africa tended to appraise events as more immoral, more unfair or unjust, and more externally caused. Respondents in Latin America tended to appraise emotion-antecedent events as less immoral than those in other regions.

(Scherer, K. (1997). The Role of Culture in Emotion-Antecedent Appraisal. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 73(5), 902-922.)


  1. Anonymous4:55 PM

    "The knife went in" indeed.

  2. Beliefs in witchcraft are widespread in Africa. That got transplanted here among Blacks, only the witches putting a curse on you are now The Man, the CIA, etc.

  3. I'm not usually much of a jargon person, but locus of control is a useful term in this context. It is a reflection of the extent to which people view events in their lives as the outcome of internal or external factors.

    In my experience, people of European origin have a significantly higher internal locus of control than most others, except perhaps East Asians. I would also say that intelligent people generally have a higher internal locus of control than do the less intelligent. That having been said, I think that we Euros often overestimate our power to shape our outcomes. In fact, many things in life are the result of happenstance, luck, genetic destiny, if you will, and other factors outside our control.

    In much of the world, people view most of what happens to them, and ALL the bad things that happen to them, as a result of factors totally outside their control. In dealing with such people, it is useful, and maybe necessary, to understand this.

  4. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Very Interesting!
    Thank You!


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