Effects of face experience on emotions and self-esteem in Japanese culture


  • The research reported in this article was originally conducted for the first author's dissertation and then newly analyzed.

Dr. Chun-Chi Lin, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan. E-mail: chunchily@gmail.com


Face plays an important role in social life. However, little is known about the psychological consequences of an individual's face experiences. This study examined the effects of face experiences on emotions and self-esteem in a diary study conducted in Japanese culture, in which face functions as a mechanism to maintain interpersonal harmony. Participants reported the occurrence of face-related events, maintenance/loss of face, emotions and self-esteem twice a week for 10 weeks. We predicted and found that (1) the occurrence of one's own face events increased participants' depressiveness, (2) the maintenance of one's own face heightened joyfulness and decreased depressiveness, (3) the maintenance of one's own face heightened participants' self-esteem, and (4) the maintenance of other people's face increased joyfulness and calmness but did not affect self-esteem. These findings provided empirical supports for fundamental assumptions that have never been subjected to empirical scrutiny in face research. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.