Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel)


Whether people regulate negative emotions during Covid-19 might inform mental health worldwide. Therefore, this project will test whether the motivation to decrease negative emotional experiences differs across cultures. The project will also test whether attempts to decrease negative emotions are equally beneficial across cultures. In one study, participants from 10 countries will indicate how much they wanted and tried to decrease negative emotions in themselves and in others during the pandemic. We will also assess emotional reactions, mental health, and well-being. We predict that members of independent cultures would be more motivated to decrease their negative emotional experiences in response to Covid-19, compared to members of interdependent cultures. We further predict that members of interdependent (but not independent) cultures would be more motivated to regulate the emotions of others than their own emotions. Finally, we predict that attempts to decrease negative emotions would be more beneficial in independent than in interdependent cultures. In a second study, we will conduct a content analysis of news websites in different cultures and their references to emotion regulation when covering the Covid-19 pandemic. We predict that websites in independent cultures will mention decreasing personal negative emotional experiences more frequently than websites in interdependent cultures. By testing links between emotion regulation and mental health in response to a severe, common, and global threat, our project could inform culturally sensitive interventions designed to facilitate healthy coping with current and future global threats.

Principal Investigators

Maya Tamir

Professor, Department of Psychology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Maya Tamir is a professor of psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She completed her PhD at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and her postdoctoral training at Stanford University. Her research focuses on motivational processes in emotion regulation, with an emphasis on what drives people to regulate emotions in themselves and in others. With over 100 scientific publications, her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Israeli Science Foundation, and the German-Israeli Foundation. She is an elected fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and winner of the Allon Fellowship for Outstanding Researchers, Golda Meir Award, and the Ben-Porat President’s Award for Exceptional Young Scientists. She served as action editor of leading scientific journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Emotion, and Emotion Review, and currently serves as the coeditor of the Cambridge Series on Emotion and Social Interaction and on the editorial boards of Psychological Bulletin, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Emotion.

Yulia Chentsova-Dutton

Associate Professor, Georgetown University

Yulia Chentsova Dutton is an associate professor of psychology at Georgetown University. A native of Northern Caucasus, Russia, she received her BA from Williams College and her PhD from Stanford University. Prof. Chentsova Dutton is a cultural psychologist, specializing in affective science, the study of interpersonal relationships, and cultural-clinical psychology. Her work is inspired by the notion that it is possible to study culture in methodologically rigorous ways without losing sight of its complexity. She seeks to combine this perspective with a focus on physical and mental health and well-being. Prof. Chentsova Dutton is the editor-in-chief of Emotion Review, the chief editor of Frontiers in Cultural Psychology, and an associate editor of Cognition and Emotion. Her research has been published in top scientific journals and has been funded by the National Science Foundation.