Green Room

Map of the day: The world’s most and least emotional countries

posted at 12:01 pm on November 29, 2012 by

Had this in Headlines yesterday but I want to push it out again because I’m interested in commenters’ theories for why some cultures are more or less “emotional.” My hunch is that individualism and religiosity are key variables; if you had to guess which part of the world would peg the stoic-o-meter, post-Soviet, post-atheist Russia would have been a very solid guess.

But that only gets you so far. Check out the map of Africa, say. That’s a surprising amount of variation for a continent that you’d expect to be fairly culturally homogeneous (at least the southern two-thirds). What gives?

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The intelligence level of the posts on Hot Air just dropped about 50 points. Way to go AP.

woodNfish on November 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

The election had a lot to do with it. I know I was alternately laughing and crying, both hysterically.

KS Rex on November 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM

The data is kinda useless because it doesnt break out positive and negative emotions. Without seeing whether the emotions are net positive or negative, what conclusions can you draw? It’s just idle speculation. They have the data, too, they just arent sharing it:

“Latin America leads the world when it comes to positive emotions, with Panama, Paraguay, and Venezuela at the top of that list.”

“Negative emotions are highest in the Middle East and North Africa, with Iraq, Bahrain, and the Palestinian Territories leading the world in negative daily experiences.”

I also think it doesnt show “how emotional” someone is, it shows cultural attitudes towards open EXPRESSION of emotion, maybe. I don’t think human beings are more or less emotional anywhere. The biochemical processes that drive emotion are the same in every country.

There is the whole stereotype that hispanics are “hot blooded” which simply means it is more culturally acceptable to be openly emotional. By contrast when you have communism stamping out individuality for many decades, that is going to leave a cultural imprint of people not looking as fondly on open displays of emotion.

Finally, Im not sure the questions themselves are squarely focused on emotion:

1. did you feel well rested?
2. were you treated with respect all day?
3. did you smile or laugh A LOT?
4. did you do or learn something interesting?
5. did you experience the following feelings during A LOT of the day?
6. (same question but with additional emotions/feelings).

Im not sure what most of those have to do with emotion. Certainly not being well rested, being treated with respect all day, or learning/doing interesting things.

Without breaking out the data further I dont think any useful conclusions can be drawn.

kaltes on November 29, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Italy is not emotional!?!

Little Boomer on November 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Well since I was born and raised in the Eastern Bloc maybe stoic is not the right word, but rather hard headed? When the Munich Agreement was signed, we lost everything, our property, our possessions and then after the war, the Soviets came to enforce and make worse what Hitler and the rest who agreed to Munich had started.

Although I was too young to drink, the Soviets made sure that beer flowed freely and cheaply. 10 cents per mug was offered to most workers on their lunch breaks right up to the Velvet Revolution. To keep the workers compliant?

I wish I had paid more attention to the events that followed the Velvet Revolution, and that perhaps is where the stoicism comes from. I was too busy stretching my wings, learning to fly free in search of the elusive banana. Taking something that was literally crushed and the rebuilding of an economy with free market principals is something to be cherished and proud of.

JPeterman on November 29, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Well since I was born and raised in the Eastern Bloc maybe stoic is not the right word, but rather hard headed? When the Munich Agreement was signed, we lost everything, our property, our possessions and then after the war, the Soviets came to enforce and make worse what Hitler and the rest who agreed to Munich had started.

Although I was too young to drink, the Soviets made sure that beer flowed freely and cheaply. 10 cents per mug was offered to most workers on their lunch breaks right up to the Velvet Revo lu t i o n. To keep the workers compliant?

I wish I had paid more attention to the events that followed the Velvet Revo, and that perhaps is where the stoicism comes from. I was too busy stretching my wings, learning to fly free in search of the elusive banana. Taking something that was literally crushed and the rebuilding of an economy with free market principals is something to be cherished and proud of.

When I go home on holiday in a few weeks, I always stop here as a reminder of how things were.

JPeterman on November 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Had to change a word up there that’s not allowed at HA, I guess.

JPeterman on November 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM


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