Do Happy Events Love Company? Cultural Variations in Sharing Positive Events With Others

Hyewon Choi, Shigehiro Oishi, Jieun Shin, Eunkook M. Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The present study examined cultural differences in the act of sharing positive events with others, called capitalization attempts. The first three studies tested whether capitalization attempts differ between two cultures using multiple methods: self-reports (Study 1), children’s storybooks (Study 2), and Facebook (Study 3). We found that Koreans are less likely to share their positive events with others than European Americans. Study 4 further examined the antecedents and consequences of capitalization attempts. We replicated the earlier findings that Koreans are hesitant to share their positive events and demonstrated that this is because Koreans are more concerned about the potential negative consequences for social relationships. Moreover, we found that the cultural differences in capitalization attempts partly account for mean-level differences in well-being between cultures. Implications for capitalization, culture, and well-being are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-540
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Study 1 was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2011-330-B00230).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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