Pleasure as a source of meaning or a motivator for meaning search: The Cross-cultural investigation

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Hong, Emily
Social Psychology , Meaning in Life , Culture , Positive Affect , Emotion , Well-Being
The present work investigates how the relation between pleasure and meaning may vary across cultures, focusing on comparisons between Koreans and Euro-Canadians. Guided by the idea that culture shapes people’s perceptions on pleasure, I proposed that the presence of pleasure would serve as a source of meaning in life among Euro-Canadians but as a motivator for the meaning search among Koreans. Specifically, I hypothesized that, relative to Euro-Canadians, Koreans show a greater tendency to search for meaning in the presence than in the absence of pleasure. Four studies, using between and within cultural comparisons, as well as a meta-analysis, provided some support for the prediction. This research provides a new insight into the dynamic association between pleasure and meaning from the cultural perspective.
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