Investigating the impact of emotional display rules on the positive/negative affect

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Clinical psychologist, Roozbeh hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant professor of psychiatry, Roozbeh hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor of Faculty of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant professor of clinical psychology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


ntroduction: Emotional display rule are factors dependent on the cultural background of each person and they have a determinant role in expressing emotion. According to these rules, whatever emotion a person expresses is related to sub-threshold factors determined by personal culture. We aimed to investigate affect experience, which is important in psychological wellbeing and identified as a major determinant of quality of life.
Materials and Methods: The participants in this study were 560 Iranian individuals who live in various cities of Iran (Tehran, Abadan, Ahwaz, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Mashhad) in 2014-2015, and were selected through multistage clustering sampling method. Each one has their own specific emotional display rule. Hypotheses were investigated in light of emotional display rule and positive/negative affect. Questionnaires used in this study were Display Rule Assessment Inventory (DRAI) and Positive/ Negative affect (PANAS). Multiple regressions were used to test the study hypothesis and data were statistically evaluated by SPSS 19.
Results:Results showed that happiness and disgust are expressed more, and anger and sadness are expressed less.  
Conclusion: Affect experiences are dependent on the rules which are determined by the culture. If expressing emotion is validated by the culture, the person would experience positive affects; and if not, he would experience negative affects.