The influence of gender and cultural values on savoring in Korean undergraduates

Soyeon Kim, Fred B. Bryant


The present study investigated antecedents of savoring beliefs and responses in a sample of South Korean college students. Historically, Korea has been strongly influenced by Chinese Confucianism, which emphasizes not only gender-role differentiation and patriarchal norms, but also the dampening of emotions as a culturally appropriate style of positive emotional regulation. We hypothesized that Korean females, relative to males, would reject traditional Asian cultural values in order to gain more empowerment, and would, as a result, report a greater capacity to savor positive experience. Confirming the hypotheses, Korean women, compared to men, reported stronger disagreement with traditional Asian values, greater overall savoring ability, greater capacity for cognitive elaboration, and less use of dampening and greater use of amplifying as savoring responses to positive events. Path analyses supported our hypothesized mediational model in which Korean women, relative to men, more strongly rejected traditional Asian values, which predicted less dampening (but only marginally greater amplifying). We conclude that among young Korean adults: (a) savoring is a relevant concept; (b) traditional Asian values tend to promote dampening of positive emotions; and (c) women more strongly reject traditional cultural values, tend to engage in less dampening and greater amplifying, and perceive greater savoring capacity, relative to men.


savoring, gender, Confucianism, cross-cultural

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