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The authors hypothesized that teasing, a social interaction that benefits relational bonds at the expense of the self, should be viewed as more affiliative, and experienced as more pleasurable, by members of cultures that deemphasize positive self-differentiation. In four multimethod studies, Asian Americans attributed more affiliative intent to teasers and reported more positive target experience than did European Americans. Teaser behavior, attribution biases, and personality did not account for culture-related differences in teasing experience. Rather, childhood teasing may better prepare Asian American children to overlook a tease's affront to the self in favor of its relational rewards. Implications of deemphasizing positive selfdifferentiation in social interaction are discussed.
The authors tested the approach/inhibition theory of power by examining teasing interactions between women and men in conditions in which either one was given elevated power or they were in an equal-power control condition. Consistent with hypotheses, high-power individuals behaved in a disinhibited fashion and were less accurate judges of their partner's emotion, whereas low-power individuals behaved in a more inhibited, indirect fashion and reported more self-conscious/anxiety-related emotion. Additional contrast analyses revealed only modest support for the claim that men would act in powerful fashion in the absence of explicit power differences, and that power-based differences were greatest when the man had power over the woman. Discussion focuses on different perspectives on the interaction between power and gender.
Drawing on recent claims in the study of relationships, attachment, and emotion, the authors hypothesized that romantic love serves a commitment-related function and sexual desire a reproduction-related function. Consistent with these claims, in Study 1, brief experiences of romantic love and sexual desire observed in a 3-min interaction between romantic partners were related to distinct feeling states, distinct nonverbal displays, and commitment- and reproductive-related relationship outcomes, respectively. In Study 2, the nonverbal display of romantic love was related to the release of oxytocin. Discussion focuses on the place of romantic love and sexual desire in the literature on emotion.