Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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The present study investigates similarities and differences in perception of emotional support and conversational intimacy between friends. Burleson’s (1994) typology of emotional support and analysis of Polish vs. Latin American cultures served as the theoretical framework for this study. Participants (Ecuadorians=87, Poles=60) completed a questionnaire consisting of five episodes-dialogues between two women whose behaviors reflected two variables: (i) Type of emotional support: Low versus High person-centered; and (ii) Success versus Failure story. Both partners, in dyads, where emotional support was high person-centered, enjoyed more positive evaluation than friends in low person-centered support dyads. Poles were more sensitive to how the needs of the self-disclosing partner were served by her friend, while Ecuadorians paid more attention to the quality of interaction. Also, personal matters attracted more interest of Poles, unlike Ecuadorians, for whom a casual small talk was more enjoyable.

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