Contemporary research on emotions has been increasingly demarcated into four self-contained segments: the cultural, biological, inner, and outer aspects of emotional processes. A parallel trend is the increasing hegemony of the perspective of those who study only the cultural and outside segments. Research on cultural variation, the causation of emotional states, and cultural universals is reviewed and evaluated. This review suggests that the evidence does not support the exclusion of cultural universals from research designs. It is proposed that integration of these four approaches is urgently needed if we are to understand the interactions between culture and biology, between inner and outer, and therefore what is distinctively human about human beings. Some research that integrates these elements into single designs is described as pointing the way for future exploration.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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