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Keywords:

  • appraisal bias;
  • emotion responses;
  • emotional personality dispositions;
  • culture effects

Abstract

We suggest that cultural factors may encourage the development of affective personality traits or emotional dispositions by producing or rewarding specific appraisal biases. To buttress this argument, we describe a putative mechanism and review the pertinent evidence: (a) an emotion disposition (trait affect) is a risk factor for experiencing certain emotions more readily and/or more frequently, (b) appraisal bias tends to cause certain emotions to be more readily experienced and may thus lead to the emergence of emotion dispositions and even emotional disturbances and (c) cultural goal, belief and value systems may encourage certain types of appraisal bias and may thus provide an explanation for vestiges of culture-specific modal personality. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.